Whole Body OMT as a Treatment for Postural Instability in Parkinson's Patients




Patterson, Rita
Gibson, Keenan
Hensel, Kendi


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Background: Osteopathic Manipulation Treatment (OMT) is a manual therapy directed at relieving somatic dysfunction in patients. OMT has shown in previous studies to improve postural stability in specific patient groups and may be a treatment option for movement disorders. Parkinson's Disease (PD) is one such movement disorder where falls are a major cause of patient morbidity. However, an OMT protocol for PD has not been established. Methods: We performed a randomized control trial on PD and healthy patients to determine the efficacy of an OMT protocol. Group A received OMT treatment of the full body including cranial manipulation, Group B received OMT treatment from the neck down, and Group C received a "sham" OMT treatment. Pre- and Post-treatment clinical measurements of postural stability consisted of Functional Reach (FR) and Timed Up and Go (TUG) tests. Biomechanical measurements of quiet standing sway were observed using a 12 Camera motion analysis system and a force plate. Results: Patients showed improvement in the times to complete the TUG test across all three treatment groups with the greatest improvement (-0.52 s) demonstrated by Group A (p < 0.05). FR results showed improvement in all three treatment groups with the greatest change (+3.5cm) occurring in Group B (p< 0.05). Biomechanical data showed an increase in the RMS in the x and z directions following treatment (p >0.05). Conclusions: Full body OMT that includes cranial techniques may improve postural stability and be considered as part of a multi-therapy management of PD.