How Should I Feel After OMT?
Many patients want to know how they should expect to feel after they have had osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). This is a difficult question to answer because everyone comes in with different problems and different body types. In this article I will describe the most common ways people feel immediately after and a day or two after OMT from Dr. Lopez. Every osteopathic practitioner has different styles so responses vary.
Immediately after a treatment, there is also a wide range of ways people can feel from “no change” to “completely better.”The most common responses that patients describe after OMT is feeling “light,” “floating,” “relaxed,” “limber,” “open,” and other similar feelings. This is a result of a powerful endorphin release that has taken place when the appropriate pains and tensions have been released. Patients should not drive immediately after feeling like this. Other times, patients feel a significant improvement in their pain if they did not get full resolution immediately after OMT. Rarely, patients will not feel different or only a small change. The reasons for this can vary but if a patient does not have any response after a few visits, then it may warrant further workup.
It is a normal response for patients to experience things still “shifting and changing” for several days after osteopathic manipulative treatment. Generally, the OMT works by starting the healing process in the body and then the treatment may continue to work for several days or even weeks after the visit. Therefore, sometimes those who did not experience a significant change immediately after the OMT, experience a delayed response. In addition, it can also be a normal response to experience soreness ranging from mild to intense for a day or two after the visit. Although most patients do not describe it, soreness is common as the body adapts and adjusts to the changes that have taken place. Even a “flare up” of symptoms can be a normal experience although this is not very common, it does happen after OMT. I believe this type of response is more common with aggressive treatments involving thrusting, which I generally do not use.
I generally advise my patients to drink a lot of water for the next 24 hours after OMT to ensure that the body is properly hydrated. This may enhance the body’s ability to “flush out” any toxins released and may help prevent the soreness experienced after OMT. It is important to allow your body to fully assimilate the changes that have taken place after OMT. Your osteopathic practitioner may recommend returning in a week or two, on average, to give your body enough time for the OMT to finish doing its work. If you experience any adverse effects from the treatment, please let your osteopathic practitioner. They can help determine what the next course of action should be.
“Dr Lopez relieved the pain and tension in my neck with just a couple treatments. I had been experiencing tightness in my upper shoulders for years and after just a couple treatments with him that tension had reduced drastically. He also showed me techniques I could do myself to help if I was unable to see him. I highly recommend him to anyone suffering from any types of chronic pain.” Ugochi A.
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