Based in the United States, Outsource Strategies International (OSI), is a professional medical billing service company having extensive experience in providing medical billing and coding services for various specialties. In today’s podcast, Meghann Drella, one of our Senior Solutions Managers, discusses five common conditions chiropractors treat and their ICD-10 codes.

In This Episode

00.15 – Introduction

00.41 - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

01.14 - Migraine Headaches

01.59 - Tennis Elbow

02.59 - Whiplash Injury

04.00 - Osteoarthritis

04.52 - Conclusion

Hello and welcome to our podcast series. My name is Meghann Drella and I am a Senior Solutions Manager here at Outsource Strategies International. Today, I will be discussing five common conditions chiropractors treat and their ICD-10 codes.

Chiropractors who diagnose and treat different disorders that cause musculoskeletal or nerve pain need to document various procedures such as spinal manipulation or other manual therapies. Billing and coding different disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous system can be challenging. Physician practices need to use the correct ICD-10 codes to report these disorders. And now, we can have a closer look at the five common conditions that chiropractors treat –

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) refers to the painful condition caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel - a narrow passageway in the wrist and goes into the hand. The median nerve also controls the muscles at the base of the thumb. The abnormal pressure on the nerve can result in pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand. In most cases, this pressure develops when the tissues around the median nerve of the hand swell and press on the nerve. If this is left untreated, the condition can lead to weakness and lack of coordination in the fingers and thumb.

The next would be Migraine Headaches - This type of headache that occurs due to specific changes within the brain. The condition causes severe head pain that is often accompanied by sensitivity to light, sound, smell or physical movement. The pain often described as throbbing or pulsing usually begins on one side of the head and typically last from 4 hours up to 3 days. According to reports from the National Headache Foundation about 47 percent of adults in the United States experience some form of migraine and headaches each year and it affects three times as many women as men. Medications can help prevent some headaches and make them less painful. However, the correct combination of medicines along with self-help remedies and lifestyle changes may help prevent the occurrence of pain.

Tennis Elbow – Also called Lateral Epicondylitis, Tennis Elbow occurs when the tendons in the elbow are overloaded, usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm.  The repeated movements may result in a series of tiny tears in the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the bony prominence at the outside of the elbow. The condition causes pain and inflammation around the outside of the elbow. Common symptoms include - wrist weakness, chronic pain when lifting or bending the arm, difficulty in extending the forearm fully, pain and stiffness when fully extending the arm, pain when lifting and carrying, and tenderness outside the elbow. As the name suggests, playing tennis sport is one of the prominent causes of this condition. However, many other common arm motions such as using plumbing tools, driving screws, repetitive use of computer mouse, playing some types of musical instruments and painting can cause tennis elbow. For majority of the patients, tennis elbow is treated non-surgically to relieve pain and weakness associated with the condition.

A Whiplash Injury - Also called a neck sprain or a neck strain, a Whiplash injury refers to an injury that occurs when the soft tissues in the neck become sprained, stretched and damaged (sprained). The injury occurs due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. In most cases, the condition is caused by a rear-end collision. The sudden impact causes speedy movement of the structures within the neck and changes the normal curve of the upper back and neck. The primary symptom of whiplash is neck or upper back pain. Signs and symptoms usually develop within 24 hours of the injury. Other related symptoms include - loss of range of motion in the neck, fatigue and dizziness, worsening pain with high neck movement, headache and tightness or spasms of the muscles in the neck and upper back area. Treatment modalities include chiropractic care, physical therapy, epidural steroid injections and medications. Treatment options may vary from person to person and depend on the type and severity of the injury.

Lastly is Osteoarthritis – Regarded as one of the most common, chronic joint conditions, osteoarthritis (OA) causes pain, swelling, stiffness and difficulty moving the joint. Also called degenerative joint disease (wear and tear arthritis), the condition occurs when the protective cartilage at the end of your joint breaks down and causes the bones to rub against each other. The condition primarily affects the knees, and can also affect the fingers, thumbs, spine and hips. Even though this condition can occur in adults of any age, it is most often seen in older adults. In fact, the likelihood of developing OA symptoms increases between the ages of 55 and 64. Joint pain is one of the primary symptoms of this degenerative joint disease. Treatment modalities for this condition include therapeutic techniques combined with medications.

These are the five common conditions chiropractors treat. Chiropractors must have a thorough knowledge of all these five conditions and the highly specific ICD-10 codes. I have attached the article with a list of all the codes discussed in today’s podcast.  I hope this helps but always remember that documentation as well as a thorough knowledge of the payer regulations and guidelines is critical to ensure accurate reimbursement for the procedures performed.

Thank You so much for joining me and stay tuned for my next podcast.