Osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) is the therapeutic approach to medicine involving hands-on treatment to alleviate the structural or functional dysfunctions which may be present in the human body at any given time, especially after physically taxing activities. OMM has proven successful in the treatment of these dysfunctions on patients for over a century on earth. Little is known about how OMM could be applied in a zero-gravity environment such as space. This paper will explore how OMM may be implemented into the care of astronauts both on the ground and during long duration spaceflight.
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Somatic dysfunctions from microgravity environments are known to occur. We postulate that there are special treatment considerations for addressing somatic dysfunctions developed in microgravity environments that are different from those developed on earth. More research is needed to determine which techniques are the most effective and safest for space travel. The research will need to also determine any changes in techniques along with the timing of them, to make them most suitable for use in space medicine.