Osteopathic manipulative treatment in neurological diseases: Systematic review of the literature

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Cerritelli F, Ruffini N, Lacorte E, Vanacore N

Journal: Neurol Sci. 2016:369;333–341

Objective: The aim of the present systematic review is to critically evaluate the effectiveness of OMT as an adjuvant therapy in the management of patients with neurological diseases.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted and the findings were reported following the PRISMA statement. Twelve databases were searched for articles reporting the use of osteopathic manipulative treatment in neurological disorders. Each article was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool and the Jadad score.

Results: 10 articles were included. OMT was used to test its efficacy and/or effectiveness in treating tension-type headache, migraine, cerebral palsy and gait analysis in patients affected by Parkinson’s Disease. The general quality of the included trials ranged from very low, to low and moderate according to Cochrane standards. High heterogeneity between studies was found for the type of intervention, control and outcome measures used.

Conclusion: Results showed that studies on the efficacy and/or effectiveness of OMT treatments are scarce, heterogeneous, and of low methodological quality. Further studies should be conducted including a more pragmatic methodology, an exhaustive description of all investigated and concurrent interventions, and a systematic report of adverse events, so as to obtain robust and generalizable results.

Keywords: Neurology; Osteopathic manipulative treatment; Headache; Cerebral palsy