Aurora Ghimire was only four months into her pregnancy when lower back pain struck. A pre-school teacher in Sacramento, the 33-year-old was thrilled to be expecting her first child with husband Sudhir, a construction company vice president. After driving home to Fairfield every evening, she’d find herself in excruciating pain.
“I’d be on the sofa with an ice pack on my back,” she recalls.
“OMM is a hands-on approach to pain and it can help everyone from newborns to the elderly.”
—Angela Lim, D.O.
She visited her doctor at the Center for Women’s Health to make sure everything was progressing properly with the baby and to find out whether the pain indicated any kind of a problem.
“I was gaining the right amount of weight, and the baby was growing fine,” she says. “But the pain was so bad, I couldn’t get up or move at all.”
Her physician told her she could take a Tylenol a day, but Aurora wasn’t keen on the idea of daily medication. There was another option, one in fact that that her doctor had chosen during her own pregnancy: Aurora could try an Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment—called OMT—with Angela Lim, D.O.
“I’ve never heard of a doctor who did that before. I didn’t even know what it was,” says Aurora. “But the first time I saw her, it made a huge difference. I was able to get up and walk out of there. It was like a miracle.”
Dr. Lim is board-certified in family medicine and neuromusculoskeletal medicine and joined NorthBay’s Center for Primary Care in 2010. In September 2011, she shifted her family-based practice—located at the VacaValley Health Plaza in Vacaville—to focus entirely on Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, or OMM, and has had tremendous success.
“It’s a hands-on approach to pain,” explains Dr. Lim, “and it can help everyone from newborns to the elderly.” Dr. Lim emphasizes that while some patients experience great relief, not everyone reports such dramatic results.
“For some patients, the goal is to increase function, acknowledging that there may be only a reduction— not an elimination—in pain,” she says. “OMT is not a miracle, even though it might feel that way to someone who has been in pain. It is rooted in science and based on human anatomy and physiology.”
Dr. Lim uses her hands to move muscles and joints, using techniques that include stretching, pressure and resistance. “I’m not a chiropractor
and I don’t do massage,” she explained. “But the treatments I provide for my patients often give them immediate and sometimes long-term relief.”
Aurora’s husband, Sudhir, was stunned at the difference in his wife after the very first treatment. “You’re not stuck to the sofa any more,” she remembers him exclaiming.
After that, she became a regular visitor to Dr. Lim, and credits her with “miracle hands” that helped her through the pregnancy. “I would recommend her to any pregnant woman with back pain—or anyone with back pain,” says Aurora. “I consider it a real blessing that I was able to meet Dr. Lim, she’s a wonderful doctor.”
Dr. Lim even squeezed Aurora in for a session on the morning that her labor was induced.
Siddhartha Francisco Ghimire was born at 9 pounds, 1 ounce on Feb. 8, happy and healthy. His mother still has some lower back pain, and when she does, she schedules a visit to Dr. Lim.
“It’s given me my life back,” says Aurora. “I can be active, and move without pain, keep an eye on my baby and on my preschoolers.”
A Hands-on Approach to Pain
Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, or OMM, is a hands-on approach to pain, which takes a patient’s musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic and nervous system into account.
The practice was established in the 19th century by Dr. Andrew Taylor and involves the physician using their hands to move muscles and joints, using techniques that include stretching, resistance and pressure.
In addition to back pain, it has proven useful to patients who suffer migraines, asthma, infections and even constipation.