EAST LANSING, Mich. Researchers at Michigan State University are working to show how a noninvasive, drug-free form of hands-on medical care can help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease improve their breathing.
The team from MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine will apply four osteopathic manipulative treatments to a group of patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. One of the most common lung diseases, COPD typically manifests as chronic bronchitis (a long-term cough with mucus) or emphysema (destruction of the lungs over time).
The goal, said lead researcher and associate professor Sherman Gorbis, is to attempt to determine the biochemical changes in patients' blood following osteopathic manipulation, a treatment where a physician uses his or her hands to diagnose and treat patients.
Osteopathic manipulative treatments have been used throughout the United States since the late 1800s. The techniques can be used to alleviate pain, restore range of motion and enhance the immune system.
However, Gorbis said, much of the evidence of the treatments' success has been anecdotal.
"That's what makes this project exciting," Gorbis said. "This will be one of the first studies to attempt to correlate treatment to pulmonary function and biochemical markers.
"If we can demonstrate that certain biochemical markers are enhanced with osteopathic manipulative treatment and show patients have increased pulmonary function, this could become a powerful teaching tool."
The study is being paid for with a nearly $100,000, two-year grant from the American Osteopathic Association in partnership with the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation.
The research team will recruit patients who have enrolled in McLaren-Greater Lansing Hospital's pulmonary rehabilitation program. As part of the trial, one group will undergo the osteopathic treatments, a second group will undergo
|Contact: Jason Cody|
Michigan State University