FAQ's on Osteopathic Manipulation


Osteopathic medicine focuses on hands-on care. A Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) practices various osteopathic manipulation techniques (OMT), which involves moving the joints and muscles by hand to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness and/or injury. Osteopathic manipulation techniques include gentle pressure, stretching, and resistance.


Who can benefit from OMT?

 Osteopathic manipulation can help people of all backgrounds, ages, and conditions. This treatment is used to ease pain, increase overall mobility, and promote healing. In addition, DOs use OMT to treat patients with muscle pain. Patients who could benefit from OMT include those with: 

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Asthma
  • Migraines
  • Menstrual pain
  • Bone disorders
  • Joint disorders
  • Muscle disorders

What is osteopathic medicine?

Osteopathic medicine is a branch of the medical profession based on the philosophy that healthcare is both art and science, and the human being functions through unity of structure and function. This involves use of conventional medicine along with behavioral, chemical, spiritual, physical, and biological knowledge to re-establish and maintain health.

What are the principles of osteopathic medicine? 

Osteopathic medicine emphasizes certain principles, such as:

  • The body is self-regulatory and self-healing, and this occurs through a complex equilibrium system.
  • The human is a unit in which function, structure, spirit, and mind are interdependent.
  • Adequate body systems’ function depends on the nerve impulses, circulatory mechanisms, and neurotrophic influences.

What are osteopathic manipulations?

Osteopathic manipulations are techniques used by the doctor to evaluate, treat, prevent, and maintain certain conditions. These maneuvers are done to restore normal function to the body, and they involve use of the hands.

What should I expect at my first appointment?

The initial visit lasts for 45-75 minutes, depending on the extent of the health problem. The osteopathic practitioner begins the session discussing concerns you have regarding your symptoms. He also asks questions about your family and medical history. After the history is obtained, the doctor gives you a full functional and structural examination to determine problem areas and make a treatment plan.

What is involved in osteopathic manipulative treatment? 

OMT involves manipulation of the joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The doctor uses his hands to examine your body, looking for restriction during movement, pain, and soreness. The treatment can be done with the patient lying, sitting, or standing, and the patient often changes positions several times during a session.

How many treatments will I need?

For many patients, different modalities are used to treat the patient. Osteopathic manipulation involves many techniques to move your joints, muscles, and tissues. The practitioner uses light pressure with or without resistance, active motion (patient assisting), passive motion (patient resting), gently joint mobilization, or a combination of these. The goal is to help the patient heal from within, and you may be required to return for only one session, or require a series of OMT treatment sessions. 

How will I feel after osteopathic manipulation? 

After an osteopathic manipulation session, the patient often feels relaxed, peaceful, and pain free. On occasion, the patient may feel sore or tired for 1-2 days, which is normal. Fatigue and soreness indicates that the injury continues and the dysfunction is beginning to heal. The time it takes for a patient to heal depends on the condition, the patient’s age, and the severity of the illness.

What can I do after a session?

Because osteopathic manipulation alters the dynamics of tensions between fluids and tissues, we recommend that you rest for 1-3 days after your treatment. You can gradually return to activities. In other words, avoid high-impact or intense physical activity, keep hydrated, and rest.

Is Dr Gershon an Osteopath?

Dr. Gershon obtained his M.D. degree from Downstate Medical Center in New York City. After he completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at NYU, he attended Osteopathic courses at the prestigious Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He trained under the guidance of Dr. Philip Greenman, widely considered one of the top Osteopathic physicians in the United States.

Gershon Pain Specialists
1133 First Colonial Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
Phone: 757-496-2050
Fax: 757-689-4357
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