Safety of Osteopathic Cranial Manipulative Medicine as an Adjunct to Conventional Postconcussion Symptom Management: A Pilot Study

J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2018 Jun 1;118(6):403-409. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2018.061.


Context: Osteopathic cranial manipulative medicine is not a well-established adjunct to conventional treatment for patients with postconcussion symptoms.

Objective: To determine whether adjunctive osteopathic cranial manipulative medicine is safe for patients with concussion when accompanied by conventional treatments.

Design: Prospective observational pilot study.

Setting: Outpatient concussion clinic.

Participants: Patients who sustained a concussion were prospectively recruited from an outpatient concussion clinic by a neuropsychologist specialized in concussion. All participants were identified to have a cranial dysfunction.

Intervention: Each eligible participant received 1 session of the osteopathic cranial manipulative medicine vault hold technique.

Main outcome measures: Self-reported adverse events during or after 1 session of the osteopathic cranial manipulative medicine procedure and improvement in concussion symptoms at return to follow-up.

Results: None of the 9 participants reported adverse events during or immediately after receiving osteopathic cranial manipulative medicine. Five of the 7 participants who returned for follow-up demonstrated improvement in their overall concussion symptoms based on the Post-Concussion Symptom Scale scores.

Conclusions: Osteopathic cranial manipulative medicine was considered a safe adjunctive treatment option to improve concussion-related symptoms and recovery.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Osteopathic*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pilot Projects
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult