Osteopathic manipulation to treat back pain during pregnancy

Manipulation during the 3rd trimester was studied by researchers at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, in Fort Worth.

First, the details.

  • 144 pregnant women were assigned to a treatment group.
    • Usual obstetric care + osteopathic manipulative treatment
    • Usual obstetric care + sham ultrasound treatment
    • Usual obstetric care only

And, the results.

  • The Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire scores (a measure of back pain) worsened during pregnancy.
  • However, back-specific functioning deteriorated significantly less with usual obstetric care + osteopathic manipulative treatment compared to the other treatments.
  • During pregnancy, back pain decreased with usual obstetric care + osteopathic manipulative treatment
    • It remained unchanged in the usual obstetric care and + sham ultrasound treatment group.
    • It increased in the usual obstetric care only group, although the differences weren’t significance.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Osteopathic manipulative treatment slows or halts the deterioration of back-specific functioning during the third trimester of pregnancy.”

These results complement an earlier review of patient records, which found improved outcomes in labor and delivery in women who received prenatal osteopathic manipulative treatment, compared with women who did not.

1/31/10 11:11 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.