Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy and Multiple Sclerosis: A Proof-of-Concept Study

Christian Cordano, MD, PhD; Annalisa Armezzani, DO (Italy); Jacopo Veroni, DO (Italy); Matteo Pardini, MD, PhD; Davide Sassos, MD; Maria Teresa Infante, MD; Andrea Tacchino, PhD; Caterina Lapucci, MD; Maria Cellerino, MD; Valentina CalabrĂ², MD; Luigi Ciullo, DO (Italy); and Bardia Nourbakhsh, MD, MAS
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: November 10, 2017

Accepted: November 27, 2017

Published: August 1, 2018

J Osteopath Med; 118(8): 531-536

Context: Research on the effect of osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMTh; manipulative care provided by foreign-trained osteopaths) on chronic symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) is lacking.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of OMTh on chronic symptoms of MS.

Methods: Patients with MS who were evaluated at the neurology clinic at Genoa University in Italy were recruited for this study. Participants received 5 forty-minute MS health education sessions (control group) or 5 OMTh sessions (OMTh group). All participants completed a questionnaire that assessed their level of clinical disability, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and quality of life before the first session, 1 week after the final session, and 6 months after the final session. The Extended Disability Status Scale, a modified Fatigue Impact Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the 12-item Short Form Health Survey were used to assess clinical disability, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and quality of life, respectively.

Results: Twenty-two participants were included in the study (10 in the control group and 12 in the OMTh group). In the OMTh group, statistically significant improvements in fatigue and depression were found 1 week after the final session (P=.002 and P<.001, respectively). An increase in quality of life was also found in the OMTh group 1 week after the final session (P=.36).

Conclusions: Results demonstrate that OMTh should be considered in the treatment of patients with chronic symptoms of MS.

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