Osteopathy treatment has been shown to be effective in the relief of chronic pain in individuals with osteoarthritis and inflammatory conditions. Osteopathy’s effect on pain is related to its influence on the release of beta-endorphin and reduction in serotonin (Degenhardt et al. 2007).
Arienti et al. (2011) examined the use of osteopathic treatment in reducing neuropathic pain post SCI. Participants were randomized into one of three groups: the pharmacological group received 600 mg of pregabalin per day; the combined pharmacological and osteopathy group received osteopathic treatment once a week for the first month, once every fortnight for the second month and once during the third month for 45 minutes along with the pharmacological treatment; the osteopathic group received only the osteopathic treatment schedule described and the combined group received both active treatments. The study found verbal numeric scale (VNS) ratings were not significantly different among the groups from baseline to 8 weeks. However, the combined treatment group had the highest pain relief compared to the pharmacological alone (p=0.05) and the osteopathic alone (p=0.001) groups from 13 to 24 weeks.
There is level 1b evidence (from one randomized controlled trial; Arienti et al. 2011) that osteopathy alone is not effective in improving neuropathic pain post SCI.
Osteopathy alone may not be helpful for post-SCI neuropathic pain.