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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Hartman 2006.

Cranial osteopathy: its fate seems clear

updated
Hartman SE. Cranial osteopathy: its fate seems clear. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies. 2006;14:10.
Tags: controversy, debunkery

PainSci summary of Hartman 2006?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

A short but clear, compelling, and strong critique of cranial osteopathy. As an osteopath himself, Dr. Hartman’s opinion carries considerable weight, and he writes well. He concludes that techniques based on the assumptions of cranial osteopathy “should be dropped from all academic curricula; insurance companies should stop paying for them; and patients should invest their time, money, and health elsewhere.”

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

BACKGROUND: According to the original model of cranial osteopathy, intrinsic rhythmic movements of the human brain cause rhythmic fluctuations of cerebrospinal fluid and specific relational changes among dural membranes, cranial bones, and the sacrum. Practitioners believe they can palpably modify parameters of this mechanism to a patient's health advantage.

DISCUSSION: This treatment regime lacks a biologically plausible mechanism, shows no diagnostic reliability, and offers little hope that any direct clinical effect will ever be shown. In spite of almost uniformly negative research findings, "cranial" methods remain popular with many practitioners and patients. SUMMARY: Until outcome studies show that these techniques produce a direct and positive clinical effect, they should be dropped from all academic curricula; insurance companies should stop paying for them; and patients should invest their time, money, and health elsewhere.

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These four articles on PainScience.com cite Hartman 2006 as a source:


This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: