Effect of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment vs Sham Treatment on Activity Limitations in Patients With Nonspecific Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain

Full Paper

Authors: Christelle Nguyen, MD, PhD; Isabelle Boutron, MD, PhD; Rafael Zegarra-Parodi; Gabriel Baron, PhD Sophie Alami; Katherine Sanchez; Camille Daste; Margaux Boisson; Laurent Fabre; Peggy Krief; Guillaume Krief; Marie-Martine Lefèvre-Colau, MD, PhD; François Rannou, MD, PhD
Journal: JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181(5):620-630
Abstract:
ABSTRACT

Importance  Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is frequently offered to people with nonspecific low back pain (LBP) but never compared with sham OMT for reducing LBP-specific activity limitations.

Objective  To compare the efficacy of standard OMT vs sham OMT for reducing LBP-specific activity limitations at 3 months in persons with nonspecific subacute or chronic LBP.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This prospective, parallel-group, single-blind, single-center, sham-controlled randomized clinical trial recruited participants with nonspecific subacute or chronic LBP from a tertiary care center in France starting February 17, 2014, with follow-up completed on October 23, 2017. Participants were randomly allocated to interventions in a 1:1 ratio. Data were analyzed from March 22, 2018, to December 5, 2018.

Interventions  Six sessions (1 every 2 weeks) of standard OMT or sham OMT delivered by nonphysician, nonphysiotherapist osteopathic practitioners.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The primary end point was mean reduction in LBP-specific activity limitations at 3 months as measured by the self-administered Quebec Back Pain Disability Index (score range, 0-100). Secondary outcomes were mean reduction in LBP-specific activity limitations; mean changes in pain and health-related quality of life; number and duration of sick leaves, as well as number of LBP episodes at 12 months; and consumption of analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs at 3 and 12 months. Adverse events were self-reported at 3, 6, and 12 months.

Results  Overall, 200 participants were randomly allocated to standard OMT and 200 to sham OMT, with 197 analyzed in each group; the median (range) age at inclusion was 49.8 (40.7-55.8) years, 235 of 394 (59.6%) participants were women, and 359 of 393 (91.3%) were currently working. The mean (SD) duration of the current LBP episode was 7.5 (14.2) months. Overall, 164 (83.2%) patients in the standard OMT group and 159 (80.7%) patients in the sham OMT group had the primary outcome data available at 3 months. The mean (SD) Quebec Back Pain Disability Index scores for the standard OMT group were 31.5 (14.1) at baseline and 25.3 (15.3) at 3 months, and in the sham OMT group were 27.2 (14.8) at baseline and 26.1 (15.1) at 3 months. The mean reduction in LBP-specific activity limitations at 3 months was −4.7 (95% CI, −6.6 to −2.8) and −1.3 (95% CI, −3.3 to 0.6) for the standard OMT and sham OMT groups, respectively (mean difference, −3.4; 95% CI, −6.0 to −0.7; P = .01). At 12 months, the mean difference in mean reduction in LBP-specific activity limitations was −4.3 (95% CI, −7.6 to −1.0; P = .01), and at 3 and 12 months, the mean difference in mean reduction in pain was −1.0 (95% CI, −5.5 to 3.5; P = .66) and −2.0 (95% CI, −7.2 to 3.3; P = .47), respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in other secondary outcomes. Four and 8 serious adverse events were self-reported in the standard OMT and sham OMT groups, respectively, though none was considered related to OMT.

© 2021 Foundation COME Collaboration. All Rights Reserved