NMM/OMTCase Report

Use of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment to Manage Recurrent Bouts of Singultus

Benjamin Seidel, DO, and Gina Benaquista Desipio, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: November 5, 2013

Accepted: February 13, 2014

Published: August 1, 2014

J Osteopath Med; 114(8): 660-664

Singultus, or hiccups, are involuntary spasms of the diaphragm that in most cases are harmless and self-limited. Treatments are reserved for those cases that persist, and current options include pharmacotherapeutics, complementary methods (such as acupuncture), and osteopathic manipulative treatment. A 32-year-old woman with stiff person syndrome and concurrent aminoacidopathy in the setting of acute inpatient rehabilitation was experiencing daily bouts of singultus, ranging from 20-minute to 5-hour durations. Osteopathic manipulative treatment at the onset of spasm resulted in immediate cessation of and further suppression of singultus for approximately 12 to 24 hours. Overall, there was a noted reduction in singultus frequency, duration, and intensity, as well as better tolerance of physical and occupational therapy. The authors theorize that OMT could be a useful adjunct to, or replacement of, pharmacologic interventions for singultus, especially when pharmacologic therapies have failed.

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