The Effects of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on GI Motility




Liganor, Roselle E.
Watters, Jacob W.
Jouett, Noah P.
Hensel, Kendi L.
Smith, Michael L.


Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Introduction Since its inception, osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) has been used for a variety of clinical conditions. Studies have shown that OMT can affect the autonomic nervous system as measured by heart rate variability, thereby demonstrating somatovisceral effects, and are theorized to affect gastrointestinal (GI) function by altering autonomic balance and GI motility. We hypothesize that OMT will demonstrably affect GI activity as measured by electrogastrography (EGG), a non-invasive measure of GI motility. Materials and Methods This is an IRB-approved randomized controlled trial. EGG was used to measure gastric motility before, during and after either an OMT protocol or a time control (TC). The OMT protocol included specific techniques. Results 15 subjects have enrolled to date. Five subjects’ data were eliminated due to motion artifact. The OMT group (n=5) exhibited a 22 ± 4 % change in EGG % 2-4 cycles per minute (CPM), compared with 10 ± 0.40 % change in the TC group (n=5) (p=0.014). Further, OMT shifted the dominant power of the EGG spectrum significantly greater than TC (p=0.037). OMT did not appear to alter the dominant frequency of the gastric motility (p=0.841). Conclusion OMT appears to either (a) increase the power of the EGG spectra within 2-4 CPM or (b) shift power away from 2-4 CPM to more tachygastric frequencies. This indicates an increase in gastric electrical activity in response to OMT, but more study is needed to determine the significance and relevance of these findings.