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Nov 29, 2023

Osteopathic manipulative treatment of back pain and related symptoms during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial

By Dr. Norton

Lower back pain is very common during pregnancy. Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine treatment (OMT) is a comprehensive form of hands-on manual treatment that has a long history of success in treating musculoskeletal pain.

In a study by Licciardone et al (2010) published in the The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) journal evaluated Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine treatment in women during the third trimester of pregnancy who had lower back pain. This was the first randomized placebo-controlled trial to explore the potential effects of OMT provided during the third trimester of pregnancy. The randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted by comparing usual obstetrical care (UOBC) and OMT (UOBC + OMT), usual obstetrical care and sham ultrasound treatment (UOBC +SUT), and usual obstetrical care (UOBC).

Outcome measures included average pain levels and Roland Morris-disability questionnaire to assess back specific functioning. Intention to treat analysis included 144 subjects. The Ronald Morris disability questionnaire scores worsened during pregnancy; however back specific functioning deteriorated less in the group treated with OMT. Back pain was also statistically significantly less in the groups that utilized OMT.

Results indicated that OMT lessons or halts the deterioration in back specific functioning that often characterizes the third trimester pregnancy and thereby provides important clinical benefit when used as complementary therapy. Osteopathic manipulative medicine treatment is both a safe and a minimally invasive option to address back pain in women during pregnancy.



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