Osteopathy in the Guardian….

“Asthma is a good example of the kind of condition we can help with….I use my hands to try to find and work on any tensions or misalignments that might be compromising normal motion. In asthma I may use gentle stretches to release the ribs and the soft tissues that are restricting them, or I might use gentle oscillatory movements, using the patient’s arm as a lever to promote drainage.

In the development of pneumonia, where the lungs end up secreting more fluid than they can clear, we use a similar approach. One study showed that elderly patients who received osteopathic treatment after being admitted to hospital with pneumonia needed less antibiotics and recovered more quickly compared with those who didn’t receive this extra treatment. These kinds of results could save the health service a great deal of money.”

In today’s Guardian.

Except that Cochrane says (2005)

“There is insufficient evidence to support the use of manual therapies for patients with asthma. There is a need to conduct adequately-sized RCTs that examine the effects of manual therapies on clinically relevant outcomes. Future trials should maintain observer blinding for outcome assessments, and report on the costs of care and adverse events.”

and the trial referred to, which I think is this one says clearly that : “ITT (intention to treat) analysis found no differences between groups.” Also, physiotherapy is standard treatment in this group of patients, and to make this meaningful, we would need to have compared osteopathy to physiotherapy.

Not v impressed.

One Response to “Osteopathy in the Guardian….”

  1. kieran chhabra August 13, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    An interesting read, but I concur that a sample wich was scrutinised using a varety of manual therapies would make for a more complete study.
    Certanly rib stretching, working on the intercostal muscles between ribs, the diaphragm (main respiratory muscle) and it’s attachements in the lower back, as well as the nerve supply to the diaphragm in the neck, have all been shown to help alleviate some symptoms of asthma. These treatments do not offer a cure, but certainly can make the life of a sufferer more tolerable.