Standard osteopathic manipulative treatment acutely improves gait performance in patients with Parkinson's disease

JAOA: Journal of the American Osteopathic Association


Patients with Parkinson's disease exhibit a variety of motor deficits which can ultimately result in complete disability. The primary objective of this study was to quantitatively evaluate the effect of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) on the gait of patients with Parkinson's disease. Ten patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease and a group of eight age-matched normal control subjects were subjected to an analysis of gait before and after a single session of an OMT protocol. A separate group of 10 patients with Parkinson's disease was given a sham-control procedure and tested in the same manner. In the treated group of patients with Parkinson's disease, statistically significant increases were observed in stride length, cadence, and the maximum velocities of upper and lower extremities after treatment. There were no significant differences observed in the control groups. The data demonstrate that a single session of an OMT protocol has an immediate impact on Parkinsonian gait. Osteopathic manipulation may be an effective physical treatment method in the management of movement deficits in patients with Parkinson's disease.