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Osteopathic manipulation for back pain - a systematic review. 2011

Previous reviews and meta-analyses of spinal manipulation for low back pain have not specifically addressed Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) and generally have focused on spinal manipulation as an alternative to conventional treatment. In this study the authors set out to assess the efficacy of OMT as distinct from general spinal manipulation

Computerized bibliographic searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, MANTIS, OSTMED, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were used. These were supplemented with additional database and manual searches of the literature.

Overall, OMT significantly reduced low back pain (effect size, -0.30; 95% confidence interval, -0.47 - -0.13; P = .001). Stratified analyses demonstrated significant pain reductions in trials of OMT vs active treatment or placebo control and OMT vs no treatment control. There were significant pain reductions with OMT regardless of whether trials were performed in the United Kingdom or the United States. Significant pain reductions were also observed during short-, intermediate-, and long-term follow-up.

This paper concludes that OMT significantly reduces low back pain. The level of pain reduction is greater than expected from placebo effects alone and persists for at least three months. The researchers suggest that further investigation is warranted to determine how OMT exerts its effects. To see whether OMT benefits are long lasting, and to assess the cost-effectiveness of OMT as a complementary treatment for low back pain.
Osteopathic manipulative treatment for low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Licciardone JC, Brimhall AK, King LN.

Osteopathic Research Center, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA.

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2005 Aug 4;6:43.