Osteopathic manipulative treatment for sinusitis relief: A pilot study
Introduction: Sinusitis affects more than 30 million Americans each year, with healthcare costs of $11 billion annually. Few studies explore osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) as an adjunct therapy for sinusitis. Our study aims to investigate the therapeutic benefits and safety of an OMT sinusitis protocol in relieving symptoms of sinusitis.
Methods: Western University of Health Sciences Institutional Review Board approved the project. A recruitment flyer was sent out to all students from the Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (n=445), and 22 subjects with symptoms of sinusitis volunteered to receive OMT. Subjects signed an informed consent form prior to treatment. Treatment was standardized with the same OMT practitioner for a 14-minute OMT sinusitis protocol. Each subject was given a survey to rate the severity of sinusitis symptoms pre- and post-OMT. Symptoms measured included sinus congestion, postnasal drip, sinus pain, headache, sense of smell and fatigue. Data was analyzed using the Wilcoxon signed rank test, with significance determined by P<0.05 and a 95% confidence interval.
Results: All 22 subjects reported symptomatic relief of sinus congestion, postnasal drip, sinus pain, headache, sense of smell and fatigue after OMT with each P<0.05. All subjects reported an overall improvement in sinus symptoms with OMT. No adverse events of OMT were reported.
Conclusion: This study concludes that an OMT sinusitis protocol serves as a safe and beneficial option for the relief of sinusitis symptoms. The limitations of the study include lack of control group and small sample size. Future studies with a control or sham group with a larger sample size are warranted.