One of my favorite stories about what Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) can do is the story of a mother of three who had been dealing with urinary frequency problems. This had been an issue for about 10 years and her life revolved around this problem. Headed on a downward spiral, she was unable to get a good night’s rest and was afraid to drive long distances or even go to the movies. Her life revolved around this problem and her frustration mounted as she had been to every specialist and tried every medication her doctor could think of without any success. At that point, her doctor was at a loss and was suggesting a psychology referral or perhaps a trial surgery. The doctors last resort strategy was further adding insult to injury as this mother stated that the problem was not psychological and was frustrated that anyone would suggest that her having to urinate over twenty times per day was in her head.
Feeling despondent, someone suggested that she try going to a osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) specialist. Not sure what to expect but feeling like there was nothing to lose, she decided to try osteopathic manipulation. After careful analysis, the doctor treated this patient’s organs including bladder, kidneys and ureters among other things, her symptoms were markedly improved instantly. Over the next several weeks, her symptoms continued to improve until they fully resolved. The next time she saw this doctor again about a year later, he asked how her bladder symptoms were. She looked at him puzzled and asked “what bladder symptoms?” After telling some of the specialist what resolved her symptoms, some of her doctors refused to believe that osteopathic manipulation played any role in her improvement.
Having been a medical student at the time, I cannot take credit for this result. It was Stephen Myles Davidson, D.O. in Phoenix, Arizona. However, the reason I am so familiar with this patient is because this patient was my mother. I was present for that particular treatment and know that the resolution of her symptoms was not by random chance. It was this treatment that stopped her downward spiral and to this day she leads a normal life. So what is osteopathic manipulative medicine? Osteopathic manipulative medicine is a holistic hands-on treatment approach that includes an understanding that there is a close relationship between the structure and function of the body, the body functions as a unit and the body is a capable self-healing mechanism. Osteopathic physicians are trained to treat every tissue in the body from head to toes.
Urinary problems can occur with women who have had children. I am not suggesting all urinary frequency problems will resolve with osteopathic manipulative medicine because there are many different etiologies for it. However, it may be good to try when other conservative treatments have failed. Under the right circumstances, osteopathic manipulation can be used to maximize organ function, hormone balance and health. With a holistic whole-body approach, it can be used to gently treat many women’s health issues such as PMS symptoms, cramping, painful periods and migraines related to periods in addition to many other problems such as musculoskeletal pain.