An analysis of a multicenter, randomized controlled clinical trial showed that osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) for patients with pneumonia reduced the length of hospital stay in adults 50 to 74 years and lowered in-hospital mortality rates for patients 75 years and older. Osteopathic manipulative techniques can help treat structural and tissue abnormalities, relieve joint restriction and misalignment, restore muscle and tissue balance, and promote the overall movement blood flow throughout the body. The study analyzed 375 patients ages 50 years or older who were randomly assigned to three groups: receiving OMT, a light touch, or conventional care only.

The differences between the groups were evaluated for subgroups of participants based on their age, type of pneumonia, and the Pneumonia Severity Index. The data were analyzed by intention-to-treat analysis of all participants and by per-protocol analysis of participants who finished the study without missing any protocol treatments. According to Medical Xpress, key findings by per-protocol analysis of the younger subgroup found that OMT decreased hospital stay by 1.1 days compared to those who received conventional care only.

In addition, by intention-to-treat analysis of the older subgroup, in-hospital mortality rates were 11% lower to the conventional care-only group. OMT also reduced the in-hospital mortality rates of those with the highest severity of illness.

“Osteopathic manipulative therapy was developed in the pre-antibiotic era specifically for the management of pneumonia. While antibiotic therapy is the current standard of care, the emergence of resistant bacteria is a global threat and provides an incentive to explore adjunct treatments that can improve their efficacy,” says James Bailey, DO. “This study should encourage physicians to use their osteopathic techniques when treating older patients with pneumonia.”

Source: Medical Xpress