Efficacy of osteopathic manipulative treatment on muscular force of the upper and lower limbs: a randomized controlled crossover trial
Introduction. The role of muscular force is known to optimize health, function, independence and is related to their improvement and preservation over time. The aims of this study were to investigate the influence of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) on muscular force in healthy subjects in the short term compared to sham therapy on control group. Methods. 76 subjects, males and females, have been included in the present randomized, triple blind, placebo-controlled trial. Participants were asymptomatic adults (aged 35 ±10, 61% were male, BMI 25 ±2,55). Participants were randomized to two groups: experimental group, receiving OTM-Sham sequence, and control group, receiving Sham-OTM sequence. The osteopathic evaluation and the administration of OMT and Sham have been practised on each group according to the assigned sequences, followed by a standardized protocol of additional OMT. Main outcome measures. Changes in muscular force have been measured by means of Push-Up test (TF1) and Abalakov vertical jump test (TF2), collecting pre-post intervention average scores over a period of 7 weeks, at 3 and 7 weeks; week 4 included the phase of treatment interruption (washout phase). Results. At week 7, the analyses by independent samples t-test between experimental and control group according to the intervention sequences OMT-Sham/Sham-OMT showed significant variations of increase in force (TF1PRE-POST) (p<0.02) cohen’s d / effect size r (d. 1.73, r 0.65; CI 95% 1.16834 to 2.83166) in 65% of the female subgroup vs. OMT intervention. Discussion. OMT produces force changes in the musculature of the upper limbs of women as biceps, triceps and pectoral muscles, as demonstrated by an increase of 1-2 push-ups compared to the sham therapy on the control group. Conclusion. The results suggest that OMT positively affects upper limbs force in healthy women in the short term. Future studies are warranted to investigate the extent to which OMT can modify the force in pathological conditions as well. Keywords: osteopathic manipulative treatment, muscular force, endurance.