Stiff Person Syndrome and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine as a Treatment Modality: A Case Study




Gautam, Rupali
Khowaja, Sanober
Aston, James


0000-0002-6704-6615 (Gautam, Rupali)

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Background: Stiff-person syndrome (SPS) is a rare autoimmune and neurological condition characterized by progressive muscle stiffness, rigidity, and painful muscle spasms of the trunk and limbs, impairing mobility. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms and improve mobility and function. Patients often require a combination of therapies, including medications and physical therapy. However, the application of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) has yet to be explored in such patients. Case Information: We present a case of a 41-year-old, White female who sought treatment at the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine clinic for her worsening full-body and respiratory spasms and decreased mobility related to her SPS. The patient reported a medical history of SPS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Hypothyroidism, Chronic Interstitial Cystitis, Failed Back Syndrome, and an unspecified autoimmune disease. Her past surgical history includes a lumbar fusion, cervical fusion, dilation and curettage, cholecystectomy, appendectomy, and knee arthroscopy. The patient received the SPS diagnosis one-year prior by a neurologist who detected increased GAD-65 antibodies and has since been managed with Clonazepam as pharmaceutical therapy. During OMT sessions, she exhibited full-body spasms that lasted up to one minute. Following subsequent OMT appointments, fewer spasmodic events have been noted. After 6 months of OMT, she has noticed reduced spasm frequency. Conclusions: This case illustrates the potential benefits of OMT for patients with SPS. Further treatment and follow-up are necessary to understand the long-term prognostic impact of OMT on functionality.