Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Frederick Goldstein, PhD, FCP

Second Advisor

Donald Allison, DO

Third Advisor

Alexander S Nicholas, DO, FAAO


This randomized controlled pilot study is to determine if a combination of muscle energy and soft tissue techniques can reduce the amount of daily NSAID use in patients suffering from chronic non-specific low back pain (CNSLBP). Osteopathic manipulative treatment has been shown to be useful in treating low back pain. However, its role in reducing daily NSAID use in CNSLBP patients is unclear. This study was conducted at PCOM from January 2014 to April 2014. By design, patients were to be randomized into either a treatment group consisting of OMT or a control group consisting of a sham OMT. Of the two patients who were recruited, one met the eligibility criteria (n=1). This patient was randomized into the treatment group with OMT and was allowed to continue to take NSAIDs as needed to treat low back pain. The primary outcomes included a percent reduction in daily NSAID use and a percent reduction in daily pain scores from a 11-point 10 log scale. As compared to the baseline data, the patient who received osteopathic manipulative treatment presented with an increasing trend in daily NSAID use and pain scores. The competitive soccer combined with the clear diagnosis of iliolumbar ligament strain can account for the continuous discomfort and somatic dysfunction. With only one patient, there was no comparison to sham manipulation. No conclusion can be made to address OMT reducing daily NSAID use and pain in patients suffering from CNSLBP with the limited amount of data we obtained from this study. Further assessment of the difficulty with clinical research was discussed.