Managing irritable bowel syndrome: The impact of micro-physiotherapy

Daniel Grosjean 1 , Patrice Benini 3  and Pierre Carayon 2
  • 1 Centre de formation à la Microkinesithérapie CFM, Pont à Mousson, France
  • 2 Services de Gastroentérologie, d’Oncologie et d’Endocrinologie Moléculaires, de Chirurgie Viscérale et Vasculaire, CHU Besançon, Besançon, France
  • 3 Association Centre de Diffusion de la Microkinésitherapie ACDM, 78 Rue de Pont à Mousson 57950, Montigny les Metz, France
Daniel Grosjean, Patrice Benini
  • Corresponding author
  • Association Centre de Diffusion de la Microkinésitherapie ACDM, 78 Rue de Pont à Mousson 57950, Montigny les Metz, France
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and Pierre Carayon
  • Services de Gastroentérologie, d’Oncologie et d’Endocrinologie Moléculaires, de Chirurgie Viscérale et Vasculaire, CHU Besançon, Besançon, France
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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has a complex pathology, high prevalence and large impact on patients’ quality of life. As conventional therapy may yield unsatisfactory results, a more holistic approach may be desirable. The current study assessed the effect of micro-physiotherapy on the severity of IBS symptoms.


In a double-blind study, 61 recurrent IBS patients were randomised to two sessions of micro-physiotherapy or sham micro-physiotherapy. Inclusion criteria were the presence of ≥1 IBS symptom from abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea or bloating. Exclusion criteria were previous major intestinal surgery and the presence of chronic diseases. The mean patient age was 53.5±15.3 years. Micro-physiotherapy consisted of micro-palpatory examination to identify osteopathic lesions, followed by micro-massage to stimulate self-healing. The control group underwent a sham procedure. The presence and severity of symptoms was assessed at baseline and at 1-month follow-up by the same gastroenterologist.


Two patients did not complete the study. There was a significant difference in percentage of patients that improved after the first session, at 74 % for the micro-physiotherapy group and 38 % for the sham group, respectively (p=0.005). After the second session, the initial improvement was maintained in both groups, although with no further gains, and the differences between the study groups remained significant (p=0.007).


Micro-physiotherapy significantly improves IBS symptoms and should be explored further for use in mainstream healthcare.

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The Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine focuses on evidence concerning the efficacy and safety of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) whole systems, practices, interventions and natural health products, including herbal medicines.