Osteopathy may decrease the severity of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). About 35% of patients with quiescent Crohn’s disease (CD) continue to suffer from IBS-like symptoms with impaired quality of life (Qol). We aimed to evaluate the effect of osteopathy on the severity of IBS-like symptoms in quiescent CD patients.
We prospectively included 38 patients with CD on remission over 12 months while receiving infliximab every 8 weeks. Patients were randomized 2/ 1 to receive three sessions of standardized osteopathy (n=25) at 15, 30, and 45 days after the last infusion of infliximab or simple follow-up. The severity of IBS-like symptoms, psychological factors, and its impact on Qol were assessed using questionnaires.
Compared with baseline, the severity of IBS-like symptoms was significantly reduced in patients receiving osteopathy. The decrease was significantly more pronounced in patients receiving osteopathy at day 30 [−38.4 (−76.1 to 10.2) vs. 32.2 (−16.6 to 41.6), P=0.01], day 45 [−36.7 (−74.4 to 25.3) vs. 32.2 (−16.6 to 41.6), P=0.04], and day 60 [−39.5 (−60.9 to −9.2) vs. 6.1 (−38.7 to 28.5), P=0.05] with a concomitant increase in Qol (P=0.09 at day 30, P=0.02 at day 45, P=0.3 at day 60). Compared with baseline, the severity of fatigue was significantly reduced in patients receiving osteopathy, whereas depression and anxiety remained unchanged.
Three sessions of osteopathy reduced the severity of IBS-like symptoms associated with CD in remission. Osteopathy should be viewed as a helpful therapeutic option to reduce the severity of abdominal pain and discomfort in patients with CD but in remission with IBS-like symptoms.