Effects of Practicing Osteopathic Manipulation Technique (OMT) on Hand Function




Surve, Sajid
Chang, Mary Ellen
Patterson, Rita
Barnum IV, Frederick


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Effects of Practicing Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) on Hand Function Sajid Surve, DO; Rita Patterson, PhD; Mary Ellen Chang, OMS-II; Frederick Barnum IV, PGY-1 Purpose: Physicians who practice osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) rely on their hands to diagnose and treat patients. Due to the nature of medical practice, OMT practitioners’ experience increases as a function of age. Conversely, the general population’s hand function decreases with age, but skilled finger movement training improves an aging population’s hand functionality. Therefore, we hypothesize that OMT practitioners’ hand grip strength is maintained, or even improved, over untrained individuals within the same gender and age bracket in spite of increasing age. Methods: 90 OMT practitioners at American Academy of Osteopathy’s 2017 Convocation self-reported demographic data via Qualtrics, such as age, gender, height, weight, and length of OMT practice. Then, we measured their intrinsic and extrinsic grip strength with a key pinch grip and Jamar dynamometer, respectively. Finally, participants allowed investigators to take photos of their hands with a ruler in-frame, so that anthropometric data including hand length and volume could be extrapolated. Results: Preliminary data analysis shows that male OMT practitioners’ grip strength improves with age and that females’ decreases minimally. Other collected data is currently undergoing analysis and significance has yet to be determined. After factoring in subjects’ BMI and hand volume and comparing these values with accepted standards, we believe the data will show that OMT practitioners outperform their non-practitioner counterparts in extrinsic and intrinsic grip strength. Conclusions: Our study paves the way for future tests in this population to determine if practicing OMT affects practitioners in quantifiable ways, such as increasing hand dexterity and tactile sensitivity.


Research Appreciation Day Award Winner - 2018 Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, OMM-IM Korr, PhD Memorial Award - 1st Place