Tuesday, July 8, 2008

OMM anyone

As an osteopathic physician, one of the things I learned in medical school, at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, was osteopathic manipulative medicine. OMM is just one of the many tools, along with prescribing medicine, physical therapy, performing surgery, etc, that osteopaths have to treat patients. Manipulative medicine allows the body to return to its normal state, thus helping the body to heal itself.

In the first 2 years of medical school, I spent hours each week in lab learning OMM. Once on rotations I used OMM less frequently depending what attending I was with, so my skills declined. In residency, I didn't have an osteopathic attending for much of my time there, so I only used OMM occasionally. I did have the luxury of having other DOs in my program who I could refer pts to, or talk to about pt care. Here in PNG, I am without a referring or consulting DO, thus I am on my own. The other day I sure wished I had someone I could have consulted with.

I saw a lady, 1 month postpartum, who walked into my room using a stick and obviously in pain. My exam didn't produce any obvious hip, knee, or ankle findings that would account for her discomfort, however her Xray showed her problem. Her pubic symphsis is elevated on the R (in the xray), and lower on the L. I stood in front of the viewbox for about 5 minutes trying to come up with some manipulation to try and help her out, but to no avail. I used NSAIDS instead, and prayed that her body would indeed heal itself.