The Somatic Connection  |   May 2018
Biopsychosocial Effects of Osteopathic Interventions in Patients With Chronic Pain
Author Notes
  • Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, Pomona, California 
Article Information
The Somatic Connection   |   May 2018
Biopsychosocial Effects of Osteopathic Interventions in Patients With Chronic Pain
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 2018, Vol. 118, 345-346. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.067
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 2018, Vol. 118, 345-346. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.067
Saracutu M, Rance J, Davies H, Edwards DJ. The effects of osteopathic treatment on psychosocial factors in people with persistent pain: a systematic review [published online October 13, 2017]. Int J Osteopath Med. 2018;27:23-33. doi:10.1016/j.ijosm.2017.10.005 
There is a paucity of research investigating the psychological effects of osteopathic manipulative therapy (manipulative care provide by foreign-trained osteopaths) or osteopathic manipulative treatment in patients with chronic pain. Researchers in the United Kingdom performed a systematic review of the effects of osteopathic manual treatment (defined as “osteopathic manual therapy, osteopathic manipulation, mobilization, spinal manipulation, high velocity and low amplitude manipulation, massage, and soft tissue treatment”) on various biopsychosocial factors in patients with chronic pain. Studies were included if they were English-language randomized controlled trials published in peer-reviewed scientific literature between 1980 and 2017 that studied the effects of osteopathic interventions on at least 1 biopsychosocial factor (depression, anxiety, avoidance, catastrophizing, acceptance, and/or self-efficacy) in adult patients with heterogeneous persistent pain conditions. Exclusion criteria were reports of pelvic postpartum pain or pain from a visceral source (eg, irritable bowel syndrome, gout). Of the 862 abstracts retrieved from 7 databases, 16 articles met the inclusion criteria. One study was removed from the final analysis after a quality assessment revealed low quality. The control groups received either standard care, placebo (eg, sham therapy), specific modalities (eg, nonthrust manipulation), nonspecific exercises, or a multimodal program (eg, cognitive behavioral therapy and education, The Back Book and exercise). 

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