What some people see as massage therapy may be a woman’s way to an enhanced quality of life with endometriosis. According to a study from the Centre Expert Endométriose, a leader in endometriosis treatment in Paris, osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT) can enhance the quality of life for women with deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE) and colorectal involvement.
Lead author Dr. Camille Darai, believes the study can be a basis for a future clinical trial. The report, entitled “Impact of Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy on Quality of Life of Patients With Deep Infiltrating Endometriosis With Colorectal Involvement: Results of a Pilot Study,” was published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. It evaluated how fifteen women would respond to OMT. Most of these women were already on a medical treatment, and 35% had previously undergone surgery to correct complications of endometriosis. Furthermore, these patients had a specialized type of endometriosis, DIE, which is present in 20% of women with endometriosis and involves subperitoneal infiltration of endometriotic tissue.
Quality of life was the key issue in the study, as DIE is known to cause chronic pelvic pain and uncomfortable digestive and urological symptoms. In 5 to 12% of DIE patients, a severe involvement of the colorectal system can further reduce quality of life.
During the study, women completed a quality of life exam before two experienced surgeons conducted OMT. During OMT, the surgeons stretched and gently pressed on the women with moves called “mobilization of the uterus, treatment of peritoneal mobility, mobilization of the colon, and indirect technique in lumbar roll of L1 and L2.” Sessions lasted approximately one hour, and the women filled out another quality of life exam approximately 24 days after the procedure.
Women experienced a striking difference in social functioning, mental health, and bodily pain following OMT. Additional significant differences were seen in general health and vitality. There seemed to be no effect on physical functioning, role physical, and role emotional.
“This prospective pilot study suggests that OMT is associated with a significant short-term improvement in QOL of patients with DIE and colorectal involvement,” stated Dr. Darai. To note, the study had a low rate of participation, and the researchers believe the reason may be a lack of confidence in the ability of OMT to help improve the symptoms of a medical disorder. Studies that identify a benefit of manipulative therapies in the case of chronic pain have not specifically dealt with endometrosis. Indeed, there needs to be a first study to build momentum for a new therapy, and this study places OMT in an excellent light to help improve quality of life in women with endometriosis.