The structural and physiologic changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy can predispose pregnant women to low back pain and its associated disability, as well as to complications of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Anecdotal and empirical evidence has indicated that osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) may be efficacious in improving pain and functionality in women who are pregnant. Based on that premise, the Pregnancy Research on Osteopathic Manipulation Optimizing Treatment Effects (PROMOTE) study was designed as a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, and blinded clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of an OMT protocol for pain during third-trimester pregnancy. The OMT protocol developed for the PROMOTE study was based on physiologic theory and the concept of the interrelationship of structure and function. The 12 well-defined, standardized OMT techniques used in the protocol are commonly taught at osteopathic medical schools in the United States. These techniques can be easily replicated as a 20-minute protocol applied in conjunction with usual prenatal care, thus making it feasible to implement into clinical practice. This article presents an overview of the study design and treatment protocols used in the PROMOTE study.
- Low back pain
- Osteopathic manipulative treatment
- Pain relief