Effects of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on Parkinsonian Gait: A Statistical Parametric Mapping Analysis

Terrell, Zachary T.
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Introduction/Background: Tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD) each year, making it the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. PD results in a variety of gait disturbances that increase the fall risk of those afflicted. The overarching goal for this project is to examine the efficacy of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) and Osteopathic Cranial Manipulative Medicine (OCMM) in improving Parkinsonian gait. Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare joint range of motion (ROM) and joint angle waveforms before and after OMT to determine the effects of OMT and OCMM on Parkinsonian gait, as well as to compare the relative effects of each treatment protocol. We hypothesized that the application of a single OMT protocol on adults with PD will acutely increase joint ROM, and the addition of OCMM to the OMT treatment protocol will further improve gait kinematics. Methods: An 18-camera motion analysis system was used in conjunction with 54 reflective markers on the body to capture three-dimensional position data in a short treadmill walking trial before and after the application of a whole-body (OMT-WB), neck-down (OMTND), or sham OMT protocol. Ankle, knee, and hip joint ROM and waveforms in the sagittal plane during the gait cycle were compared before and after treatment, and across experimental groups. Results: No significant differences were found in baseline ROM and joint angle waveforms of the hip, knee, and ankle joints across experimental groups, or in post-treatment joint waveforms across experimental groups. Knee ROM increased significantly following OMT-ND and OMT-WB protocols (p=0.018, p=0.032). Waveform analysis revealed no significant differences at the hip, knee, or ankle joints. Discussion/Conclusion: Comparison of baseline measurements validates participant randomization and an increase in sagittal knee ROM in individuals with PD following OMT and OCMM may have important implications for decreasing potential fall risk. However, waveform analysis shows no significant change in gait pattern as evidenced by sagittal joint angles following OMT-WB, OMT-ND, or SHAM treatments.