A Comparative Study of Cervical Hysteresis Characteristics after Various Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) Modalities

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BACKGROUND: Few objective measures have been used to document change in myofascial tissues after OMT.

HYPOTHESIS: Paraspinal tissues associated with cervical somatic dysfunction (SD) will demonstrate quantifiable change in myofascial hysteresis characteristics after a given OMT technique but not after a Sham intervention.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 240 subjects were palpated for cervical articular SD. A randomly selected intervention (5 OMT techniques or a Sham) was applied to the cervical SD clinically considered to be most severe. A durometer (SA201(®); Sigma Instruments, Cranberry, PA, USA) objectively measured myofascial structures overlying each cervical spinal segment pre- and post- intervention. Using a single consistent piezoelectric impulse, this durometer quantified four hysteresis (tissue texture) characteristics--fixation, mobility, frequency, and motoricity.

RESULTS: Baseline changes in median hysteresis values were noted for each OMT technique but not for Sham interventions. Notably, segmental counterstrain OMT resulted in significant motoricity change compared to adjacent segmental myofascial measures (p-value 0.04) along with a suggestive trend in the mobility component (p-value 0.12).

CONCLUSION: When comparing treated to untreated cervical segments, the most significant change occurred post-counterstrain OMT with no overall change following Sham. Overall, quantifiable objective change occurs in myofascial tissues post-OMT, in addition to the noted clinical palpable change.

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Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies





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This article was published in Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, Volume 17, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 89-94.

The published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2012.10.004

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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