Person-centered versus body-centered approaches in osteopathic care for chronic pain conditions

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Authors: Gerard Alvarez, Rafael Zegarra-Parodi, Jorge E. Esteves
Journal: SAGE Journals

We read with great interest the recently published study by Coste et al.1 The authors reported no benefit of osteopathic treatment in a sample of patients with fibromyalgia (FM) and, therefore, concluded that its use was not recommended.1 We argue that their findings were expected given their lack of rationale for evaluating the benefits of a single therapeutic approach in the care of individuals with this chronic pain syndrome.

In this multicenter randomized controlled trial, the osteopathic (‘real’) intervention consisted of a strict protocol of manual techniques routinely applied for each patient.1 No justification was provided regarding their choice of the specific techniques used in the study. In addition to this concern about the selected techniques, the actual study protocol raises other concerns about the lack of rationale for applying this kind of manual approach for a chronic pain condition like FM and about the authors’ reductionist and biomechanical-based understanding of what constitutes osteopathy and osteopathic treatment.

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