Centre for Reviews and Summaries

NCOR launched our Centre For Reviews and Summaries (CFRS) in early 2017. This will grow into a one-stop-shop for all osteopaths who want to read summaries of the latest evidence relating to osteopathic care and management. Our summaries are intended to provide a brief overview of predominantly manual therapy and osteopathically-relevant research, with references for further reading. They are not intended to be an exhaustive or systematic review of the literature.


Annual mentoring and CPD programme


The CFRS offers mentoring for osteopaths who want to improve their ability to think critically about research. We hope to make places available annually, and to post outputs from the osteopaths in the CFRS. This will be coordinated by an online learning system. If you are interested in joining our next intake, please contact us.

All reviews and summaries will be listed here. You may also wish to read previous Snapshot Summaries.




Paediatric systematic review.


The first major piece of work that the CFRS undertook was a systematic review of manual therapies in the treatment of babies and children. As of March 2017 this is nearing completion, and we aim to publish this paper soon. After publication it will be listed alongside all publications that NCOR staff have been involved in producing.


Acceptance and mindfulness in the management of persistent pain

Maria Robinson. October 2017.

Key messages from this summary:

  • Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) can positively influence the way in which individuals respond to and cope with pain experiences. Evidence that MBIs alter the experience of pain itself is weak.
  • Depression is a common comorbidity, and patients with persistent pain are more likely to have higher levels of anxiety symptoms. Osteopaths should be aware of the scope of their practice, and should refer patients where appropriate.
  • Study findings should be interpreted with caution, since many trials of MBIs have methodological limitations. Further research is likely to change our understanding of the role of MBIs in the management of persistent pain.

The full summary is available as a PDF to download.


Exercise therapy in the management of shoulder pain.

Elena Golder. June 2017.

Key messages from this summary include:

  • For rotator cuff disorders, Exercise therapy — including stretching, range of motion exercises, and strengthening — may result in greater pain reduction when combined with other therapies, including manual therapy and acupuncture.
  • For frozen shoulder, exercise should only be recommended once movement can be tolerated after the acute phase.

The full summary is available as a PDF to download.




Manual therapy in the management of tendinopathy.

Jonathan Spadaccini. November 2016.

Some key messages from this summary include:

  • Tendinopathy is generally accepted to be the result of tendon derangement and adverse mechanical loading, in the absence of inflammation.
  • For patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy, there is low-to moderate quality evidence supporting the use of manual therapy to reduce pain, but not to improve function.
  • For patients with lateral knee or elbow ‘tendinitis’, there is mixed evidence to support the application of manual therapy (specifically deep friction massage) to improve pain and function.

The full summary is available as a PDF to download.


Coming soon:

Summaries of recent research relating to: mindfulness for persistent pain; and management of fibromyalgia.