Changes in biomechanical dysfunction and low back pain reduction with osteopathic manual treatment: Results from the OSTEOPATHIC Trial

John C. Licciardone, Cathleen M. Kearns, W. Thomas Crow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to measure changes in biomechanical dysfunction following osteopathic manual treatment (OMT) and to assess how such changes predict subsequent low back pain (LBP) outcomes. Secondary analyses were performed with data collected during the OSTEOPATHIC Trial wherein a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled, 2×2 factorial design was used to study OMT for chronic LBP. At baseline, prevalence rates of non-neutral lumbar dysfunction, pubic shear, innominate shear, restricted sacral nutation, and psoas syndrome were determined in 230 patients who received OMT. Five OMT sessions were provided at weeks 0, 1, 2, 4, and 6, and the prevalence of each biomechanical dysfunction was again measured at week 8 immediately before the final OMT session. Moderate pain improvement (≥30% reduction on a 100-mm visual analogue scale) at week 12 defined a successful LBP response to treatment. Prevalence rates at baseline were: non-neutral lumbar dysfunction, 124 (54%); pubic shear, 191 (83%); innominate shear, 69 (30%); restricted sacral nutation, 87 (38%), and psoas syndrome, 117 (51%). Significant improvements in each biomechanical dysfunction were observed with OMT; however, only psoas syndrome remission occurred more frequently in LBP responders than non-responders ( P for interaction=0.002). Remission of psoas syndrome was the only change in biomechanical dysfunction that predicted subsequent LBP response after controlling for the other biomechanical dysfunctions and potential confounders (odds ratio, 5.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.54-16.96). These findings suggest that remission of psoas syndrome may be an important and previously unrecognized mechanism explaining clinical improvement in patients with chronic LBP following OMT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-330
Number of pages7
JournalManual Therapy
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Biomechanical dysfunction
  • Low back pain
  • Osteopathic manual treatment
  • Psoas syndrome

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