Background: Osteopathy may decrease the severity of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). About 35% of patients with quiescent Crohn's disease (CD) continue to suffer from IBS-like symptoms with impaired quality of life (Qol). We aimed to evaluate the effect of osteopathy on the severity of IBS-like symptoms in quiescent CD patients.
Methods: We prospectively included 38 patients with CD on remission over 12 months while receiving infliximab every 8 weeks. Patients were randomized 2/ 1 to receive three sessions of standardized osteopathy (n=25) at 15, 30, and 45 days after the last infusion of infliximab or simple follow-up. The severity of IBS-like symptoms, psychological factors, and its impact on Qol were assessed using questionnaires.
Main results: Compared with baseline, the severity of IBS-like symptoms was significantly reduced in patients receiving osteopathy. The decrease was significantly more pronounced in patients receiving osteopathy at day 30 [-38.4 (-76.1 to 10.2) vs. 32.2 (-16.6 to 41.6), P=0.01], day 45 [-36.7 (-74.4 to 25.3) vs. 32.2 (-16.6 to 41.6), P=0.04], and day 60 [-39.5 (-60.9 to -9.2) vs. 6.1 (-38.7 to 28.5), P=0.05] with a concomitant increase in Qol (P=0.09 at day 30, P=0.02 at day 45, P=0.3 at day 60). Compared with baseline, the severity of fatigue was significantly reduced in patients receiving osteopathy, whereas depression and anxiety remained unchanged.
Conclusion: Three sessions of osteopathy reduced the severity of IBS-like symptoms associated with CD in remission. Osteopathy should be viewed as a helpful therapeutic option to reduce the severity of abdominal pain and discomfort in patients with CD but in remission with IBS-like symptoms.