Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy for Colorado Patients

What Is Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy?

Osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT), as practiced by Dr. John C. Hughes, D.O., is similar to chiropractic treatment, except that more subtle hand motions are used to reposition the body instead of the typical, quicker motions used by most chiropractors.

Most back pain originates in the muscles, ligaments or joints of the back. Dr. Hughes employs both direct and indirect OMT techniques, depending on the patient’s condition. Direct OMT moves the tight or painful tissues toward the area of tightness or restricted movement, while indirect OMT moves the tissue away from the impacted area. The tissue is held there until the muscle relaxes.

A treatment session at our OMT clinics in Basalt and Aspen, Colorado generally takes at least 25 to 30 minutes and is covered by most insurance plans. Dr. Hughes’ practice of OMT may benefit Colorado patients suffering from back pain, sciatica, headaches, neck injuries, muscle spasms, referred visceral pain, asthma, COPD, edema, and other physiological conditions.

Is OMT Safe?

Serious complications from OMT for back pain are rare. OMT techniques occasionally result in a temporary increase in pain or soreness that usually disappears within one day. Although direct OMT techniques are usually more effective at eliminating pain than indirect manipulations, they do have a greater potential for complications.

Osteopathic Manipulation Works By:

  • Stretching the muscles and supporting ligaments of the back*
  • Relaxing muscle spasms*
  • Restoring normal mechanics to the vertebrae of the back*
  • Promoting free movement of the musculoskeletal system*
  • Improving blood flow and drainage*
  • Reducing bulging discs – the elastic structures between the vertebrae – and correcting the internal displacement of disc fragments*
  • Freeing adhesion around a prolapsed disk*
  • Inhibiting transmission of nerve impulses*

*Results may vary; no guarantee of specific results

OMT Should Not Be Used on Patients With:

  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Damaged ligaments
  • Bone or joint infection
  • Spinal fusion
  • Bone cancer
  • Osteoporosis
OMT is usually not recommended for patients who have undergone recent joint surgery or are taking blood-thinning medications such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin).


Andersson, G., Lucente, T., Davis, A., Kappler, R., Lipton, J., & Leurgans, S. (1999). A Comparison of Osteopathic Spinal Manipulation with Standard Care for Patients with Low Back Pain. The New England Journal of Medicine, 341, 1426-1431.