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After 130 years, researchers agree osteopathy can ease pain

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It’s been practised for around 130 years—and it’s finally been acknowledged that osteopathy can help ease muscular pain.

A review has concluded there is “promising evidence” the therapy can help relieve acute and chronic low back pain, neck pain and general pain.

Researchers from the School of Osteopathy in Turin discovered that 55 trials into osteopathy, which had involved around 3,740 participants, demonstrated its effectiveness in treating musculoskeletal pain.  

The studies had tested the therapy against placebo, physiotherapy, and other interventions, such as exercise, painkillers, rest or using heat or ice.  In almost all of them, osteopathy was found to be more effective.

But there wasn’t compelling evidence that osteopathy could ease IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or migraines.

Despite the many years the therapy has been practised, the researchers said the evidence for its effectiveness had been unreliable or contradictory.

(Source: BMJ Open, 2022; 12: e053468)

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