Osteopathic manipulation as a complementary treatment for the prevention of cardiac complications: 12-Months follow-up of intima media and blood pressure on a cohort affected by hypertension

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2011 Jan;15(1):68-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2010.03.005. Epub 2010 May 8.


Background: Aim of the present study was to investigate the association between osteopathic treatment and hypertension.

Methods: The design was a non-randomized trial including consecutive subjects affected by hypertension and vascular alterations, using pre-post differences in intima-media thickness, systolic and diastolic blood pressure as primary endpoints. Statistical analysis was based on univariate t tests and multivariate linear regression.

Results: A total of N = 31 out of N = 63 eligible subjects followed by a single cardiologist received osteopathic treatment in addition to routine care. Clinical measurements were recorded at baseline and after 12 months. Univariate analysis found that osteopathic treatment was significantly associated to an improvement in all primary endpoints. Multivariate linear regression showed that, after adjusting for all potential confounders, osteopathic treatment was performing significantly better for intima-media thickness (delta between pre-post differences in treated and control groups: -0.517; 95% c.i.: -0.680, -0.353) and systolic blood pressure (-4.523; -6.291, -2.755), but not for diastolic blood pressure.

Conclusion: Our study shows that, among patients affected by cardiovascular disorders, osteopathic treatment is significantly associated to an improvement in intima-media and systolic blood pressure after one year. Multicentric randomized trials of adequate sample size are needed to evaluate the efficacy of OMT in the treatment of hypertension.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / rehabilitation*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Osteopathic*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Tunica Intima / pathology


  • Antihypertensive Agents