Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a common complaint during pregnancy. This study examined the effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) for LBP in pregnant or postpartum women.
Methods: Randomized controlled trials unrestricted by language were reviewed. Outcomes were pain and functional status. Mean difference (MD) or standard mean difference (SMD) and overall effect size were calculated.
Results: Of 102 studies, 5 examined OMT for LBP in pregnancy and 3 for postpartum LBP. Moderate-quality evidence suggested OMT had a significant medium-sized effect on decreasing pain (MD, -16.65) and increasing functional status (SMD, -0.50) in pregnant women with LBP. Low-quality evidence suggested OMT had a significant moderate-sized effect on decreasing pain (MD, -38.00) and increasing functional status (SMD, -2.12) in postpartum women with LBP.
Conclusions: This review suggests OMT produces clinically relevant benefits for pregnant or postpartum women with LBP. Further research may change estimates of effect, and larger, high-quality randomized controlled trials with robust comparison groups are recommended.
Keywords: Low back pain; Osteopathic manipulative treatment; Postpartum; Pregnancy; Spinal manipulation; Systematic review.
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