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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Abstract

Background

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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).

Conclusions

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

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