12 Novembre 2021

Fast improvements in functional status after osteopathic manipulative treatment based on myofascial release in patients with moderate or severe fibromyalgia: a retrospective study

Fulvio Dal FarraAngelo ChiesaRoberta Giulia RisioLuca Vismara and Andrea Bergna

LINK: DOI: 10.1515/jcim-2021-0139

From the journal Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine



Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain syndrome characterized by a large variety of symptoms. Evidence suggests that an alteration of central nervous system processing of pain could be involved. The purpose of this study is to analyze clinical records of patients affected by FM who underwent osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), predominantly based on a myofascial release approach (MFR).


This retrospective study considered records of 21 FM patients with moderate or severe functional impact, who consented to OMT in addition to their usual care. The assessment considered the following measures: FIQ (functional status), SF36 (quality of life), VAS (pain), TSK (kinesiophobia) and PSQI (quality of sleeping). Patients were preliminarily assessed over a 1 month run-in phase, then after 1, 2 and 4 months; a 1 month follow-up was also considered.


After one month, 71% of patients reported a decrease in functional impact and scores remained stable until follow-up (from 69.8 to 52.37, p≤0.001). Overall, after four months, patients improved their quality of life, with a score ranging from 33.47 to 42.6 (p≤0.05). We also observed a reduction of pain (p≤0.05).


A series of OMT sessions based on MFR could play a therapeutic role in improving functional status, pain and quality of life over a period of 4 months.

Corresponding author: Luca Vismara, DO, MSc, PhD(s), Division of Neurology and NeurorehabilitationIRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano28824 Piancavallo-VerbaniaItaly; and Department of Neurosciences “Rita Levi Montalcini”University of Turin10126 TurinItaly, Phone: +393393422463, E-mail: 


The authors thank Matteo Archi, Gaia Elmi and Nicolò Caraffa for their participation in clinical activities related to the present research, ALOMAR Onlus (Lombardia Rheumatic Patients Association) for collaboration and LV would like to thank the PhD Programme in Experimental Medicine and Therapy of University of Turin.

  1. Research funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
  2. Author contributions: All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by Fulvio Dal Farra, Angelo Chiesa and Roberta Risio. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Fulvio Dal Farra and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
  3. Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
  4. Informed consent: Consent to participate: all the subjects involved in this study gave their informed consent to the treatment of personal data and to the management of their data for research purposes. Consent for publication: patients signed informed consent regarding publishing their data.
  5. Ethical approval: The experimental procedure was explained in detail to participants, the study was carried out in accordance with the ethical standards of the SOMA – Osteopathic Institute Institutional review board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its latest amendments; written informed consent was obtained from the participants.