Case Reports Suggest Mechanisms for Resolving Concussion Symptoms through Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

Glymphatic Drainage May Reduce the deleterious effects of
Inflammation in Patients with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Two case reports published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic
Association
document improvements in concussion-related symptoms
following an initial session of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT).

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury, usually caused by a blow to
the head, which alters the way your brain functions. While most patients
with mild concussions recover in a few days, as many as 15 percent
experience longer-term complications.

“OMT has long been an instrumental tool in treating athletes,” said Dr.
Naresh Rao, an osteopathic sports medicine physician who will be the
team physician for USA Water Polo in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer
Olympics. “With manual techniques including craniosacral therapy, we as
osteopathic physicians have the ability to help the body restore the
flow of cerebrospinal fluid through the central nervous system to
promote healing and get our athletes with concussion-related symptoms
back to their normal activities.”

In the first case report, a 27-year-old man was treated three days after
a snowboarding accident, in which the patient fell and wasn’t wearing a
helmet. He suffered from headache, nausea, dizziness and tinnitus during
the days after the fall. After one 25-minute OMT session, the patient
reported the dizziness, tinnitus and nausea had resolved and his scores
on the Sensory Organization Test (SOT), a computerized measure of
balance, improved from 76 before treatment to 81 after treatment.

The second case involved a 16-year old girl with a history of three head
injuries, the most recent involving a head-to-head collision. Three
weeks after that injury, she reported headache, fatigue, mood swings as
well as memory and concentration problems that limited her ability to
participate in school and band.

The authors evaluated the girl using the Initial Concussion Symptom
Score (CSS), which measures progression of symptoms on a scale of 0 to
144, and the Balanced Error Scoring System (BESS), a 0 to 30 scale
measuring vestibular dysfunction. On the day after her first OMT
treatment, her CSS decreased from 53 to 22 and her BESS improved from 22
to 17. At the end of six treatments, her CSS was 0 and BESS dropped to
14.

“These cases are consistent with the clinical experiences of osteopathic
physicians who use OMT as part of a multidisciplinary approach to
concussion,” said Dr. Rao. “While the mechanisms of healing are not well
understood with concussion, formal studies measuring OMT’s impact on
recovery and quality of life are much needed to demonstrate its efficacy
as a viable therapy where there are very limited therapies to date.”

The full case reports are available online:

http://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2498827

http://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2498831

About The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA)
is the official scientific publication of the American Osteopathic
Association. Edited by Robert Orenstein, DO, it is the premier scholarly
peer-reviewed publication of the osteopathic medical profession. The JAOA’s
mission is to advance medicine through the publication of peer-reviewed
osteopathic research.

Contacts

American Osteopathic Association
Lauren Brush, 312-202-8161
lbrush@osteopathic.org