ASK THE EXPERT: Finding Relief Through Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy

Ask the Expert

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – According to the World Health Organization, musculoskeletal conditions that cause pain in muscles, nerves, joints, ligaments, tendons and bones affect more than a billion and a half people worldwide.

As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, with Bon Secours St. Francis Health, 7NEWS spoke with a family medicine physician and a patient about finding relief through Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy.

“My hip doesn’t slow me down anymore.”

Kathryn Mitchell, Patient of Bon Secours St. Francis Healthcare

After struggling with hip pain for years, Kathryn Mitchell wanted to try a therapy she hadn’t before. So, she made an appointment for Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy or OMT.

“In one 20 minute session, years of pain gone,” Mitchell said.

OMT is a hands-on method to move a patient’s muscles and joints using techniques like stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.

“Mostly what I use OMT for is musculoskeletal, so like low back pain. That is my biggest one. Also, I work on knee pain, shoulder pain, neck pain… anything to do with the bone or the muscles.”

Dr. Rachel Pruitt, DO / Family Medicine Physician, Bon Secours St. Francis Healthcare

Dr. Rachel Pruitt, a Family Medicine Physician, treats Kathryn Mitchell. In the beginning, appointments were pretty frequent. Now, Mitchell only needs the therapy every few months.

“Some people I can do once and then they’re fine, they’re good. Some people I do every three months. Some people want to come every month. So, it just kind of depends,” Pruitt said.

It wasn’t an accident or injury that led Mitchell to seek therapy, but just general wear-and-tear. Without this treatment, she believes she could have needed a hip replacement one day.

“It can save you surgery. It can save you endless weeks in PT… It just improves your quality of life and it does it very quickly.”

Kathryn Mitchell, Patient of Bon Secours St. Francis Healthcare

Dr. Pruitt says Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy is usually pain-free. However, not everyone is a candidate for it.

“I can only do musculoskeletal stuff. If you have a spinal injury or some kind of bulging disk or something then it’s not going to fix it,” Pruitt said.

If you would like to try Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy, then you will need to find a doctor of osteopathic medicine to treat you. Pruitt recommends reaching out to your primary care physician first to make sure that OMT is an option for you.

To submit a health topic for our Ask the Expert series, click here.

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