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The Somatic Connection  |   July 2016
Manual Therapy Technique Shown Beneficial for Osteoarthritis of the Hip
Author Notes
  • University of California, San Diego School of Medicine 
Article Information
The Somatic Connection   |   July 2016
Manual Therapy Technique Shown Beneficial for Osteoarthritis of the Hip
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, July 2016, Vol. 116, 490. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2016.099
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, July 2016, Vol. 116, 490. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2016.099
Beselga C, Neto F, Alburquerque-Sendín F, Hall T, Oliveira-Campelo N. Immediate effects of hip mobilization with movement in patients with hip osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial. Man Ther. 2016;22:80-85. doi:10.1016/j.math.2015.10.007. 
Portuguese physical therapy researchers evaluated the effect of 1 administration of “mobilization with movement (MWM)” on patients with hip osteoarthritis. This randomized controlled trial assigned 20 patients to the intervention group and 20 to a sham intervention group. Patients in the 2 groups had no statistically significant demographic differences. The mean (SD) age was 78 (6) years, and 54% were women. 
The unique feature of this study was the nature of the intervention, which apparently is not commonly applied in physical therapy clinical practice. From illustrations and descriptions in the article, it appeared to be an articulatory maneuver with the thigh passively flexed to as close to 90° as possible without inducing pain. First, the therapist supported the ilium with one hand and, with a therapy belt around the patient’s thigh and therapist’s waist, induced a translatory lateral glide. This motion was repeated 10 times. Then the thigh was passively flexed and internally rotated as far as possible without pain, and the lateral glide was again applied by the therapist moving so as to have the therapy belt apply the glide. This motion was also applied 10 times. 
To my knowledge, there is no similar osteopathic manipulative treatment technique. The use of the therapy belt allows operator-guided motion in several planes simultaneously. In the placebo intervention, the same thigh positions were made but no therapy belt lateral glide was applied, nor was repeated passive motion placement of the hip done. 
The results were significantly reduced pain scores on a numerical pain rating scale and increased range of motion of 12.2° in hip flexion and 4.4° in hip rotation. Functional test results were also improved in the intervention group. Limitations were that only 1 physical therapist provided both the real and the placebo interventions and that only immediate effects were evaluated. 
This study is 1 of the few showing benefit of any manual medicine or manual therapy technique in the management of osteoarthritis of the hip, and even the knee for that matter. I recommend that teachers of osteopathic manipulative treatment review this study and related literature on this technique.