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Dec. 13, 2018

New Grand Rapids health clinic offers osteopathic manipulative medicine

Michigan State University has opened its first Grand Rapids health clinic, a specialty practice focused on providing osteopathic manipulative medicine, or OMM. 

The MSU clinic, located northeast of downtown Grand Rapids, offers patients biomechanical screening, focusing on the relationship between a person’s body movements and the task they are performing, along with treatments using OMM for a wide range of neuromusculoskeletal conditions.

“The goal is to give the primary care physicians in the greater Grand Rapids area a safe and effective option to the treatment of chronic pain,” said Lisa DeStefano, chair of the MSU Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. “OMM is a wonderful, safe and effective resource to eliminate acute exacerbations of chronic conditions such as low back and neck pain. If we can eliminate the exacerbations with long-term management, we decrease costs of care.”

This non-surgical care addresses pain caused byneuromusculoskeletal issues that stemfrom a wide variety of sources. Patients range from newborns to senior citizens who may be experiencing short- or long-term challenges.  

“It can be any type of neuromusculoskeletal pain that could be related to repetitive strain, sports, work, performance-related injuries, postural issues, joint, fascial, muscular orspine pain or headaches,” said Kevin Hayes, clinic director and an osteopathic physician who is board certified with the American Osteopathic Board of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine. 

He emphasized that his first step in care is getting the privilege to listen to the patient’s story and discover what might cause the body to experience a medical diagnosis called somatic dysfunction which can go undiagnosed for months or even years, resulting in biomechanical imbalance and pain. 

“Many patients who come through our OMM clinic have had a thorough work-up and treatment by highly competent physicians, but they are still hurting,” Hayes said. “After listening to them, I execute a specific, focused structural exam rooted in pertinent functional anatomy related to their history and reason for consultation; in short, I look for undiagnosed and therefore untreated somatic dysfunction. If somatic dysfunction is present, then it is one more diagnosis that that patient’s body has to negotiate with and that needlessly takes up vital metabolic energy.”

The clinic, which is part of the MSU HealthTeam, accepts patients by referral from primary care physicians or specialists. For more information, visit MSU HealthTeam.

By: Laura Probyn