Below are several summaries of evidence relating to osteopathy.

Research relevant to osteopathic treatment of musculoskeletal pain comes from a number of healthcare professions, including osteopathy, chiropractic, physiotherapy, and medicine. Much of the research has focused on spinal manipulation and mobilisation. In the summary of findings, the authors’ conclusions are reported verbatim from the study. It is important to read the full text of the studies and critically review the findings to decide if you agree or challenge the authors’ conclusions. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist is useful when examining research quality.

Low back pain

Low back pain evidence table, last updated May 2016. This summary includes acute and subacute low back pain; chronic low back pain; low back pain associated with pregnancy and post-partum.

Cervical spine

Cervical spine evidence table, last updated May 2016. This summary includes acute neck pain; subacute and chronic neck pain; management of headache.

General osteopathy

What evidence is there for osteopathy? pdf

The summary includes information on

  • Professional regulation
  • Training
  • Osteopathic practice
  • Access to treatment
  • Clinical governance
  • Evidence and practice
  • Clinical guidelines
  • Low back pain – clinical trials
  • Back pain and pregnancy
  • Psychological factors and low back pain
  • Osteopathy and safety
  • Educational interventions
  • Physiological assessment of low back pain
  • Studies facilitating clinical competence
  • Examining patients’ expectations of the osteopathic profession

Below is a link (click on image) to a summary table of evidence for manual therapy. This table is a work in progress and will be updated regularly. It contains references for relevant papers and summary information for each paper.

You can find links to either abstracts or full articles for several of these papers on our Osteopathic Relevant Research page.