The osteopathic treatment in infants (4 to 12 month) with congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction. A randomized controlled trial


As shown in the literature about 6 percent of newborn childs suffer from congenital stenosis of the naso-lacrimal duct. Spontaneous remission rate is very high.
The purpose of the study is to show if there is a positive effect of the osteopathic treatment in congenital stenosis of the nasolacrimal duct (CNLDO)

Randomised controlled study

Two osteopaths who were educated at the European College of Osteopathy performed the study at their osteopathic practise in Munich, Dachau and Starnberg (Germany). Period: June 2004 to July 2008

Material and methods:
33 infants between 4 and 12 month (mean 5,8 month) attended the study. By randomization 16 infants were allocated to the intervention-group and 17 to the controlled-group. Patients of the interventions-group got four osteopathic treatments once a week. After a non-treated waiting period of 3 weeks patients of the controlled group got also four osteopathic treatments once a week. A follow-up was made 4 to 6 weeks after the last treatment. The primary parameter the study was looking for was the collection of data of epiphora, conglutination, secretion and redness. The data were collected on a parents observation form. Secondary parameters were crying behaviour and the emesis of the infants after ingestion. Data were also collected by parents.

In the 3 week intervention period 6 from 16 osteopathic treated infants were complete free of symptoms. In the controlled group only 3 of 17 infants were complete free of symptoms. This result is not significant (p = 0,2). At the date of control 4 to 6 weeks after treatment the number of symptom free infants increased from 6 to 8. The additional treatment of the controlled group verified the positive trend in favour of the osteopathic therapy.

Four osteopathic treatments in a period of 3 weeks show a positive trend in the treatment of infant congenital nasolacrimal obstruction. Further studies are desirable particularly for the development of the symptom-collection-modality