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Adverse Events Reported After OMT

OMT, or osteopathic manipulative treatment, is hands-on care. It involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. OMT is most often used to treat musculoskeletal pain. But it can also help patients with a number of other health problems such as asthma, sinus problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, constipation, migraines, and many other conditions. When appropriate, OMT can complement, and even replace, drugs or surgery. In this way, OMT brings an important dimension to standard medical care.

In this article, we explore a recent study that quantified the adverse events of OMT.

Patients were assessed how they felt immediately after OMT compared with before OMT using a 5-point ordinal rating scale (much better, better, about the same, worse, much worse). For patients who indicated they felt their condition had changed, a follow-up, open-ended question asked them to describe how it had changed. Patients who felt worse or much worse were considered to have experienced an adverse event.

The analysis was made out of almost 2000 visits, with the rate of adverse events being 2.5%. The most common adverse event was pain.

The article concluded that the incidence of adverse events immediately after OMT was lower than previous reports from other manual medicine disciplines. Increased discomfort was the most common adverse event of the 2.5% that had negative results to the treatment.

To find out more about OMT and find physicians in your area who provide this type of therapy, go to

Source: “Characterizing Adverse Events Reported Immediately After Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment”. Brian F. Degenhardt, DO; Jane C. Johnson, MA; William J. Brooks, DO; Lisa Norman, BS. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2018, Vol. 118, 141-149. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.033

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