D.O. clinic in Downey underutilized benefit

When I first came to work at Downey Regional Medical Center, I was thrilled to learn they were a D.O. (doctor of osteopathic) training hospital, having experienced their healing previously at another D.O. hospital.Any sore muscles, crick in my neck from sleeping the wrong way, etc., I took the first available appointment for treatment. The clincher for me was having seen my personal physician for 10 years for a chronic sprained ankle. He gave me a brace, wrote a prescription and said I had to learn to live with it, be careful and try not to sprain it again. What I lived with was limited motion and pain in my ankle, especially while swimming and climbing out of the pool. I mentioned it to the doctors at my OMT appointment three visits later and I was walking, swimming and climbing pain-free. With OMT - osteopathic manipulative treatment - the doctors put their hands on your muscles and joints. They are trained to feel abnormalities in the connections and using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance, they diagnose and treat illness and injury. They take the old saying, "The neck bone is connected to the…bone, all the way to your toes," seriously. They work to put the body back in alignment - the way it is supposed to be - before someone lifts something that's too heavy or pushes and/or pulls too much. The D.O. has almost identical training as the traditional medical doctor. Either one can specialize in any branch of medicine they choose, from dermatology to obstetrics. They both need to pass almost identical state boards for their license to practice medicine. But the philosophy of the D.O. is slightly different, focusing on the unity of all the body parts, with emphasis on the musculoskeletal system. To me, it's a system that works. My current problem is my knees; I squat and can't get up without holding onto something. At my age, arthritis is setting in. Instead of giving in and taking a pill, the OMT clinic is working on it. The last two visits, they worked on my legs and showed me exercises for strengthening. They also watched me to make sure I did them properly. Did I mention each visit is approximately 45 minutes, one-on-one with the doctor? When was the last time a doctor was in the room with you, listening to all your comments about your physical well-being and discussing your lifestyle, and worked with you to analyze changes necessary for optimal body function? The clinic's official name is Osteopathic Center for Well-Being. They are located at 11411 Brookshire Ave., Suite 304. Some insurances do cover visits; I think all insurances should. Their phone number is (562) 869-2200. Rita Shertick is a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has been a staff nurse at Downey Regional Medical Center for four years.

********** Published: March 12, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 47