Kettering Health received a research grant for over $88,000 from the American Osteopathic Association to launch a study evaluating the outcomes of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) for patients with mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome. OMT is a series of hands-on techniques that aim to diagnose, prevent, and treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions by addressing structural imbalances in the bones and soft tissues.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common ailment in the United States. The carpal tunnel is a space in the wrist where the median nerve and tendons pass from the forearm into the hand. The median nerve is responsible for providing feeling to the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome results from compression of the median nerve and can cause pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand.
The study will use sonoelastography (SEL), a noninvasive form of ultrasound, to determine if OMT is effective in changing the stiffness of the median nerve in patients with mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome and whether those findings correlate with any improvements in each patient’s symptoms. If successful, this study would be one of the first to provide objective evidence of OMT’s impact on changing the physical properties of soft tissues.
“Overall, this project speaks to the strength and collaboration of our clinicians and imaging specialists, bringing Kettering Health to the forefront of osteopathic research to drive better outcomes for our patients.” said Dr. Roland Gazaille, lead researcher. “Many patients undergo various forms of OMT and experience a subjective improvement in their symptoms, but there is a lack of objective evidence to demonstrate that the reason for that improvement is due to OMT.”
The funding comes from the American Osteopathic Association’s Acute/Chronic Pain Management Research Grant, a prestigious award that goes to research endeavors that demonstrate strong potential to advance the field of osteopathic medicine.
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