Petree K, Bruner J. Postoperative Singultus: An Osteopathic Approach. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2015;115(3):166–168. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2015.030.
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Singultus, or hiccups, is a common medical condition. Despite exponential leaps in medicine, the pathophysiologic cause remains poorly defined. Persistent singultus has been associated with conditions such as pulmonary embolism and myocardial infarction. Singultus is also a well-known postoperative complication. The criterion standard of care for patients with singultus involves ruling out lethal pathologic causes, attempting physical stimulation with Valsava maneuvers or drinking water, and, if no relief has been achieved, administering drugs to ease the symptoms. The authors report a case of a man whose postoperative singultus was successfully managed with osteopathic manipulative treatment. This approach addresses many of the possible underlying neuromechanical causes of the aberrant reflex with minimal potential for adverse effects. Physicians should consider osteopathic manipulative treatment in the care of patients with singultus.
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