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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).

Table 7 Osteopathy in Post-SCI Pain

Author Year

Country

Score
Research Design
Total Sample Size

MethodsOutcome
Arienti et al. 2011

Italy

RCT

PEDro=6

N=47

Population: Severity of injury: AIS A=33, B, C and D=14; Level of injury: paraplegia=19, tetraplegia=7. Type of pain=neuropathic.

Intervention: Patients were randomly placed into three groups: pharmacological group received 600mg per day of pregabalin. The pharmacological and osteopathic group received 600mg per day of pregabalin and osteopathical treatment once a week for the first month, once every fortnight for the second month, once during the third month all for 45 min each by an osteopathic physician. The osteopathic group received on the osteopathic treatment described above.

Outcome Measures: Verbal numeric scale (VNS).

1.     Rates of improvement based on the VNS scores were similar across the two treatments (p=0.26).

2.     The highest pain relief was seen in the combined pharmacological and osteopathic group compared to the pharmacological alone (p=0.05) and the osteopathic alone (p=0.001).

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 eight 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.

Conclusion

There is level 1b evidence (from one randomized controlled trial; Arienti et al. 2011) that osteopathy alone was as effective as pregabalin in improving neuropathic pain post SCI.

There is level 1b evidence (from one randomized controlled trial; Arienti et al. 2011) that osteopathy combined with pregabalin is more effective in reducing neuropathic pain post SCI than osteopathy alone.

Osteopathy alone is as effective at reducing neuropathic pain as pregabalin post-SCI.

Osteopathy in combination with pregabalin is effective at reducing neuropathic pain post SCI