Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

"To find health should be the object of the doctor. Anyone can find disease."

- AT Still, M.D., D.O.
(Founder of Osteopathic Medicine)

What is OsteopathicManipulative Treatment (OMT)?

OMT uses specific mechanical diagnosis and applies gentle, low force, hands on manipulative techniques to treat patients of all ages. Patients with acute or chronic musculoskeletal injuries and pain of the spine and extremities will benefit from OMT. Effective OMT treatment will result in long lasting positive outcomes that do not require maintenance treatment.

How Does OMT Work?

OMT is a hands-on approach to diagnose and treat specific joint and musculoskeletal problems by isolating and treating areas of primary stiffness in the spine and the extremities. In many cases the painful area is actually compensating for an adjacent area of stiffness. The stiff area does not do its share of the workload, thereby overloading the body parts above, below, or on the opposite side creating ongoing pain. Many times other forms of treatment are not effective because they are directed only to the painful area. Isolating and treating the parts of the body that are actually creating the painful imbalance will relieve the overload to the involved areas and eliminate the cause of the pain, so the body can heal. You will get better and stay better.

How is OMT different than chiropractic?

Chiropractic manipulation is popular, quick, and often effective for acute musculoskeletal problems addressing "alignment" issues of the spine. Treatment plans often require multiple visits and maintenance treatment. Rather than targeting areas "out of alignment" with high velocity thrust type manipulation and spinal adjustments, OMT will treat underlying causes of pain whether acute or chronic. OMT is directed at the source of the problem rather than chasing painful areas or segmental alignment issues and therefore provides longer-term relief, often permanently. Since the goal is short-term restorative treatment, OMT does not require maintenance visits.

How is OMT different than physical therapy?

Orthopedic physical therapy does an excellent job with restoration of range of motion, function, and strength of injured or painful areas of the body. Physical therapists are the experts for rehabilitating post-operative cases of the spine and extremities. There is excellent opportunity for collaborative treatment with physical therapists in the community. For those patients who do not fully recover with physical therapy, comprehensive OMT examination and treatment will often discover contributing dysfunctions away from the surgical site or injured areas that need to be addressed. Eliminating these contributing dysfunctions, will allow the body to heal complimenting the effectiveness of physical therapy treatment.

How is OMT different than massage?

Massage therapy is a popular form of bodywork that is enjoyed by patients for both comfort and therapeutic purposes. There are many different schools of massage in Hawaii like Shiatsu, lomi-lomi, acupressure, Hilot, and other traditional styles. Short term OMT intervention will clear areas of stiffness that contribute to chronic pain and arthritic conditions. If ongoing massage therapy is necessary, it will be more effective after OMT treatment for long term management of chronic conditions.

All forms of bodywork can be beneficial. Dr. Gesik will collaborate with your preferred health care provider to maximize your long-term positive outcomes. There are many gifted healthcare providers here in Hawai'i. It is not our intention to replace any of these practitioners, rather to be a consultant for short-term restorative care that will enhance your body's response to all forms of treatment, exercise, nutrition, and activity.
Common problems treated with OMT?
  • Neck and back pain
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal tunnel, wrist, and hand injuries
  • Hip strain
  • IT band syndrome
  • Patellofemoral/knee pain
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ankle sprains
  • Post-concussive headache
What Should I Expect During Treatment?

The osteopathic examination is a brief hands-on assessment in addition to your medical exam that focuses on identifying the areas of greatest restriction in your body that correlate with your specific painful condition. In screening your body for key areas of stiffness and restriction, the sequence of treatment and type of OMT is then tailored specifically for you. Since the OMT techniques Dr. Gesik uses are low force and gentle, they are well tolerated by patients of all ages.

Do I need a referral for OMT?

Dr. Gesik, being an osteopathic physician board certified in family medicine and sports medicine, does not require a referral from your primary care physician.*You can schedule directly with Dr. Gesik for OMT for any musculoskeletal pain of the spine and extremities. She will collaborate with your primary doctor for medical management and submit detailed reports regarding your musculoskeletal diagnosis and proposed treatment plan. You do not have to change physicians to see Dr. Gesik. She will collaborate with your primary care physician to treat any musculoskeletal pain or strain problems you may have. Following short-term OMT treatment, you will return to your primary care doctor for your ongoing medical needs.

Does my insurance cover OMT?

OMT diagnostic and treatment codes are universally accepted for reimbursement with most insurance companies including HMSA, Medicare,MDX Hawai'i, Aloha Care, United Health Care, and Cigna. Referral from your primary care physician is generally not required to receive OMT.*

* Some plans including HMO or Quest may require a referral from your primary care provider. Please contact your insurance carrier to inquire about referral policies and coverage for OMT under your given plan.

Core Tenets of Osteopathic Medical Philosophy

The person functions as an integrated unit of body, mind, and spirit

The body is capable of self-regulation and self-healing

The body’s structure and function are reciprocally integrated

Effective treatment is based on consideration of the first three principles.