Q. Does manage care cover OMT (Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment)?

A. OMT is an added treatment tool that is covered by many managed care organizations.  Typically, the physician and the managed care plan negotiate the level of reimbursement.

Q. Who uses OMT?

A.  All osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) from surgeons to family physicians are trained to use OMT to diagnose, treat and even prevent illness or injury.  D.O.s are fully trained and licensed physicians able to perform surgery & prescribe medication.

Q.  What is Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)?

A. OMT is a hands-on treatment where osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) use their hands to examine your back and other parts of your body such as joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles for pain and restrictions during motion that could signal an injury or impaired function.

Q.  What types of injuries or illnesses can OMT be used for?

A.  OMT can be helpful in treating low back pain as well as relieving discomfort and/or musculoskeletal abnormalities associated with a number of disorders including asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, menstrual pain, sinus disorders, and migraines.

Q.  Who can benefit from OMT?

A.  People of all ages have found relief from pain and dysfunction as well as improved mobility through OMT.  Many D.O.s incorporate OMT into their treatment plans for top athletes, workers with on-the-job injuries, and people with illnesses and injuries such as asthma and low back pain.

Q.  What is the difference between OMT & other forms of manipulation?

A.  OMT used to diagnose and treat injuries and illness, utilizes passive thrusting techniques but also includes a variety of non-thrusting methods designed to affect muscles and soft tissues.  OMT also optimizes blood circulation to maintain and restore health while other forms of manipulation tend to focus on spinal misalignment interfering with nerve transmission.

Q.  How is OMT prescribed?

A.  A D.O.s decision to use OMT is made on a visit-by-visit basis depending on the condition of the patient at the time of each visit.  This leads to a significantly lower number of visits than other health care providers who use manipulation.

Q.  How is OMT performed?

A.  Your structural exam will begin with an assessment of your posture, spine, and balance.  Your D.O. will then use their fingers to palpate your neck and extremities.  They will then check your joints for restrictions and/or pain during motion and your muscles, tendons, and ligaments where tenderness can signal problems.  Using a variety of techniques, your D.O. will apply manual forces to your body.s affected areas to treat structural abnormalities and will then apply specific corrective forces to relieve joint restrictions and misalignments.  Based upon the complexity or severity of your problem, you may require more than one treatment.

Q. Are Do’s and MD’s the same?

A. Like allopathic physicians (MD’S), Doctors of Osteopathy (DO’s) educated in the United States are fully trained and licensed to practice the entire range and scope of medicine and surgery.  Doctors of Osteopathy receive additional education in the principles and practice of osteopathy as part of their basic medical education.  Those doctors who utilize Cranial Osteopathy have many hours of additional training in the various functions of the cranium and primary respiration, and their relationship to all other parts of the body.  This specialized training allows the osteopathic physician to diagnose and treat disorders and diseases in ways that are unique to the osteopathic profession.

Q. Who can benefit from O.M.T?

A.  People of all ages and backgrounds, including infants, children, athletes, workers, and the elderly have all experienced pain relief and improved mobility from OMT.  Osteopathic Manipulation promotes deep relaxation and well-being. OMT also helps to maintain health and prevent disease or injury.

Q. How does OMT work?

A.  In order for the body to maintain health, it must have normal nerve function and be able to circulate all of its fluids (ex. blood, lymph, digestive fluids, cerebral spinal fluids, etc). These fluids carry hormones, enzymes, nutrition, and oxygen required to regulate the body and sustain health. Any blockage of the fluids or nerves results in pain or disease. These blockages may be structural or non-structural.

*OMT fact sheet is by the American Academy of Osteopathy (www.academyofosteopathy.org) and the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (www.acofp.org). 

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