Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy in Women With Postpartum Low Back Pain and Disability

This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMTh; manipulative care provided by foreign-trained osteopaths) in women with persistent LBP and functional disability following childbirth. A total of 80 women aged between 23 and 42 years (mean [SD], 33.6 [4.5] years) took part in the study, with 40 in the OMTh group and 40 in the control group. Pain intensity decreased in the OMTh group from 7.3 to 2.0 (95% CI, 4.8-5.9; P<.001) and in the control group from 7.0 to 6.5 (95% CI, -0.2 to -0.9; P=.005). The between-group comparison of changes showed a statistically significant improvement in pain severity in the OMTh group (between-group difference of means, 4.8; 95% CI, 4.1-5.4; P<.001) and level of disability (between-group difference of means, 10.6; 95% CI, 9.9-13.2; P<.005). The follow-up assessment in the OMTh group (n=38) showed further improvement.

During 8 weeks, OMTh applied 4 times led to clinically relevant positive changes in pain severity and functional disability in women with postpartum LBP. Additional studies which include prolonged follow-up periods are warranted.

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