SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

OMM vs. Chiropractics

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by Hedwig, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. Hedwig

    Hedwig Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2001
    Long Island, NY
    The one thing that I can't seem to find out about osteopathic medicine is, believe it or not, what exactly is the definition of OMM and, because I'm really wondering this, what's the difference between OMM and chiropractics?
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Justin

    Justin Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    I think they may have similar techniques, but OMM has some techniques that chiropractic does not. I really don't know for sure but this is what I have been told.
  4. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
    Chiropractic is mainly focused on the manipulation of the neck and spine.

    OMM focuses on, or can focus on, the entire body.

    Chiropractic manipulation is basically used to relieve pain or stressors (physical) in the areas I mentioned.

    OMM can be used to treat neuromusculoskeletal injury, as well as other problems such as asthma for example.

    Chiropractic manipulation was developed by mimicking manipulation used by early osteopaths. These people learned techniques to manipulate the neck and spine, and built an entire system of "health care" around this.

    There are a few books that have information about how this developed.

    If you look at Chiropractic resources, they put a pro-Chiro, anti-osteo swing on things. The opposite is true for osteopathic resources.

    Norman Gevitzs "The DOs: Osteopathic Medicine in America" has a small portion devoted to talking about Chiropractic. It doesn't have the negativity that some other books may have, and it shows the interesting cross between the two fields, chiro and osteo.

    So, don't get confused between these two distinct areas of practice. Some may argue that they are the same, but often these are the people who are ignorant as to what osteopathic medicine entails and know very little about OMM. I, myself, do not know as much as many others. Hopefully there will be more people who will answer your question as well and give a better understanding of this.

    That being said, I will also refrain from giving you my personal opinion about Chiropractic.
  5. Hedwig

    Hedwig Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2001
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks for the responses. I'm beginning to get a feel for the differences, and would really welcome some more takes on the OMM/chiro issue. I wonder why there isn't a pre-chiropractic message board or anything like that. Hmmmmmm...

    Incidentally, JP, I'll be applying to PCOM--my first and only choice--this summer (class of 2007, baby!), and would really be interested to know what you like about the school. It's definitely the Ivy of the osteopathic world--incredible, incredible, almost too-good-to-be-true, medical school.
  6. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2001
    I am a ninja
    OMM is more like Physical Therapy techniques than Chiropractic. The only thing that differs is the actual manipulation and PT works more with biomechanics than OMM. Other than that, I found them to be identical!
  7. Hedwig

    Hedwig Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2001
    Long Island, NY
    Physical therapy techniques, eh? Sounds good to me. I believe this is why my friend at Penn Med said to me re: OMM, "Wow, sounds more useful than what I'm learning!"

    Any other thoughts on the issue?

    By the way, speaking of chiropractics, what is a CHIROPRACTIC RADIOLOGIST?!?!?!?!? They're allowed to be radiologists?
  8. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2001
    I am a ninja
    Once again, I would like to praise Hedwig on his incredible singing voice in his Movie and play!

    Now back to the questions...Chiropractors like to say alot of things, and nope, they can't be radiologists as we think of them. They look at x-rays and interpret the mythical "subluxations". For further information go to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
    or <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
    Of course quackwatch points fingers at OMM as well.
  9. PalCareGrl

    PalCareGrl Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 5, 2001
    I actually worked for a chiro earlier this summer (they were all a litte psycho- but that was just them, I'm not generalizing...) and we sent out the x-rays to be read in Boston somewhere by a guy who called himself a chiropractic radiologist- but he was NOT a certified DO or MD, and therefore was not a real radiologist (even though we billed the patients for getting their x-rays "read". All this guy did was print out pages of info about how the patient's curvature was slightly different than the "ideal" (whatever standard he used). I thought it was a little strange and not very forthcoming for the patients (But I guess if you believe it, it may help you, the power of the mind and all). :) just my 2 cents.
  10. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000

    Nearly everything about PCOM impressed me. I go to school near PCOM and have a few friends who have gone through the DO program, so I was able to familiarize myself with the school as well as the academics.

    The students are incredible. They have such pride for their school and they show it in the way they talk to potential students. I have attended several Open Houses and find this every time. They also seem to work together. From what I hear, there is very little competition among the student body.

    The faculty are great. They are not only willing to help, but they go out of their way to accomodate students. Also, the professors at PCOM are known around the country as being leaders in any different fields. The alumni base for PCOM stretches very far so where ever you go, there is probably a PCOM grad near.

    The facilities are top notch. From their labs to the classrooms, and especially the athletic facilities, PCOM has it all.

    I also like the fact that PCOM offers dual degree programs. I am currently looking into the DO/MBA program there.

    Also, being in Philadelphia is great. I am from Connecticut and wasnt sure how I was going to like living in the city, but I enjoy it. I hear people complain about the city, but I have found that the atmosphere is what you make of it. Sure, Philly isnt as big as New York, but there are plenty of things to do. And, you are withing a few minutes of some of the best hospitals in the country.

    Good luck with PCOM. Check out their is the best medical school website I have seen.

    Any more question, please feel free to ask.

  11. DrQuinn

    DrQuinn My name is Neo Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 6, 2000
    My two cents...

    I heard a rumor that chiropractics was started by a DO. I do not know if this is true or not, and I have not researched this at all, so if I am wrong I will be straightforward and admit it...

    Also, my fiance is a physical therapist, and before she went to PT school she worked at a DC's office for a couple months. Looking back now, she says there is so much shadiness going on in the business... and that they had her doing therapeutic modalities (ultrasound, short-wave diathermy, etc) when she wasn't legally licensed to... they did it because she was getting paid very little and it saved them $... That is an example of ONE office and does not imply that all DCs or the profession are of the same quality...
  12. Hedwig

    Hedwig Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2001
    Long Island, NY
    I personally don't know anything about chiropractics, except that I was always taught in my household that they're quacks. Yet there are people who swear by them, so who knows?

    I just want to make sure that chiropractics is NOT the same thing as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Otherwise I'll get an MD and not a DO. But I'm convinced about OMM. The sides of my neck were killing me for the past month, but I went to see my family doctor (a DO) today and, POOF!, no more neck pain. Pretty damn cool. That's a skill I want to know!
  13. NurseyK

    NurseyK Bunny-Slave Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    I, personally, have gone to a chiro x10 yrs. She's not a "quack." She and I frequently "compare notes" re: physical assessment, manipulation techniques and overall preventative healthcare. She also performs Accupuncture/Accupressure, and integrates many "Western" techniques into her chiro tx modalities. She knows more about vits/nutritional supp and herbs than most medstudents and "Doctors" -- something we all should begin to look at seriously, considering a great number of our pts currently are taking these types of "medicines." I am very proud to be tx by a Chiro. - I find her manipulations to "last" longer than OMM. Why? I couldn't tell ya...we're both moving the bones/mm (essentially) the same way when you analyze the techniques.

    Granted, there are sub-par practioners in EVERY healthcare arena; but to lump ALL chiro's into the same description is the same type of thing that DO's have been trying to overcome for years. Let's not find ourselves tolerating the bashing of another health profession when we don't tolerate the same directed at our profession....


  14. melancholy

    melancholy 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2000
    QuinnMSU- I recall reading or hearing in a talk somewhere that osteopathic physicians and chiropractors seemed to originate around the same time and that at one point, the originators of both fields had been in contact. Unfortunately, I can't confirm this, but it seemed to be an interesting point that stuck out in my memory. Can someone else elaborate on this please? I'd be interested to know...
  15. doc2b34

    doc2b34 Anesthesiology 7+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Sunnyvale, CA
    You go girl, (NurseyK)

    I am a chiropractor who is very excited to embark on my training as an Osteopath next fall in Touro Univ. To clear up any misconceptions, The chiropractic profession did start after the Osteopathic profession. But noone really knows if the chiropractic prof. mimiced or pioneered their own techniques on adjusting their patients. One thing that is true, many chiros say that they want to keep their profession seperate from the medical profession and that's why they don't believe in drugs. That's the major difference between the Osteos and the chiros.
    I think it's very wise of NureyK to remind us not to bash other professionals that are less fortunate. I say less fortunate because I believe that it is unfortunate that the chiropractors are not part of the medical community. We are all so lucky to be able to get into a medical school. I have been practicing as a chiropractor for a little over two years and it is terrible to be in the health care field without the support of the medical establishment. Yes there are chiropractors that really care about their patients, but the majority of the chiros are money loving business people and they eat their young (No respect for the new chiro docs).
  16. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2001
    I am a ninja
    I think it is important to note that each profession has its "quacks" etc...
    BUT, it should also be noted that CHIROPRACTIC has done a POOR job at regulating and watching its OWN profession...that is how they got such a POOR reputation! I know good chiropractors, and I have met MANY shady chiropractors. Ones that would perform gynecological exams, prostate exams, would hire non Physical Therapists to perform such tasks and BILL under physical therapy, other chiropractors would tell patients that immunizations were harmful, and would also claim nutrition would cure M.S.
    It is important that the profession of Chiropractic learn to better self-regulate themselves...otherwise they should be held responsible for their own reputation.
  17. The founder of Chiropractics attended lectures by A. T. Still, DO
  18. bustinbooty

    bustinbooty Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 11, 2001
    Detroit, MI
    Yes, to further dispell any myths, Palmer ("founder of Chiropractic medicine") did take a train down to Kirksville, MO from southern Iowa quite often. He attended classes as an observer, not as a student, and took his "art" back to Iowa and developed his own system based on the work of A.T. Still. Records exist showing that Palmer made these trips and attended these classes before forming his chiropractic philosophies.
  19. DO-2-BE

    DO-2-BE Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2001
    I have no comment on the efficacy of chiropractic medicine, but i do want to respond to nursey k 's comment about vitamins and herbs. it is unclear if you feel that medical students and physicians should know about alternative treatments because so many patients use them, or because medical education is incomplete without acknowledging their benefit.

    My personal opinion is that more research needs to be conducted on these remidies and FDA regulation needs to be placed on them before we as responsible practitioners can recommend them. Just because something is "natural" or "plant derived" does not mean it is good for you. Look at heroin for an example.

    I do, however, feel that we as physicians need to be aware of the herbal remedies in order to alert our patients of the dangers and pitfalls they may have and also to perform scientific studies to evaluate the herb's usefulness as a treatment for an illness. Plus, regulation from the FDA inorder to ensue that accurate amounts of said usefull chemical from the herb is present in the remedy.

    But what I have just described is the process of converting an anecdotal treatment into a tested and proven drug. This of course flies in the face of most herbalist and de-mystifies their treatments.

    my own humble opinion.

  20. NurseyK

    NurseyK Bunny-Slave Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    My point re: vits and herbal tx is exactly what I wrote:

    '....something we all should begin to look at seriously, considering a great number of our pts currently are taking these types of "medicines."'

    Nowhere in this phrase have I made the statement that my medical education is lacking. As a matter of fact, as we progress into Systems, we will begin to "talk about vits/herbal tx/alternative therapy", per our Profs, starting by asking during the H&P. (So we shall see as the semester wears on...) This info is not meant to "write scripts with," perse, it is to help us become familiar with the more popular herbal preps on the market. I'm sure we have all heard the horror stories: pt taking Ginko Biloba, then bleeding out in surgery (whether it was D/T an anticoag effect of the herb alone or was a synergistic effect with Heparin/Coumadin I cannot recall at this time...); pt taking Foxglove and Dig and winds up bradying down/becoming toxic, etc, etc.

    With this said, even if we did not learn about complimentary medical therapies in school, we should make some type of effort on our own to familiarize ourselves with them (buy a book, take a seminar)....nowadays, to do any less would be a disservice to our pts.

    JMHO -

  21. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
    I agree 100% with Kat.

    Good insight and certainly something that will NEED to be integrated into medical education in the future, if it is not already done so.
  22. Mr. happy clown guy

    Mr. happy clown guy Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 30, 2001
    Are you following me?
    One of the problems with "herbals" is that they are not regulated by the FDA making their use as a treatment modality extremely hard to titrate...purity is NOT monitored.
    They clearly need to be under tighter restriction if their benefits or harmfulness is to be taken seriously!!
  23. ussdfiant

    ussdfiant Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2001

    Where the heck have you been!
  24. dcdo

    dcdo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 1999
    As far as techniques go between DO and DC they are basically the same. You can learn everything within OMM at a DC school,depending on which one you go to. On the whole, most DCs do stick primarily to HVLA though.

    One of the problems with chiropractic,in addition to shady marketing/business is that there is no unifying philosophy. There are "mixers" who are more of the neck/back specialists mentioned above, and the "staights" who believe "subluxations" of the spine are responsible for health. Consequently, you may encounter a range of practitioners, from an absolute god of NMS treatment to an absolute raving quack.

    I would not be too surprised if Palmer did steal from Still, as the Palmers have what I would call an "interesting" history. On the other hand,the reverence for Still in the DO circles can be a bit excessive and worshipful at times.

    If you are interested in being able to treat the NMS, you will learn it at DO school, but you definitely have to practice a lot. The saying goes that it takes about 5 years AFTER graduation and practicing to really get a good feel for these skills, and I found that that was generally true. Many M.D.s tell me that if I practice outpatient medicine I will be overwhelmed with patients, as they are most comfortable recieing this kind of treatment from a physician.

    Good luck on your decision. Sorry if this was a bit long winded.

Share This Page