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Visceral mobilization and functional constipation in stroke survivors: a randomized, controlled, double-blind, clinical trial
Pasin Neto H, Borges RA
Cureus 2020 May;12(5):e8058
clinical trial
8/10 [Eligibility criteria: No; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: Yes; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: No; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: Yes; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

INTRODUCTION: Chronic functional constipation is common among stroke survivors. Osteopathy is an effective form of treatment as it acts on the structures surrounding the bowels that may have lost their normal capacity of resilience. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of visceral mobilization on symptoms of functional constipation and static balance in stroke survivors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty stroke survivors met the eligibility criteria and were randomly allocated to a group physical therapy and visceral manipulation or a group physical therapy. Both groups were submitted to conventional physical therapy. The group physical therapy and visceral manipulation was also submitted to visceral mobilization (sphincter inhibition and mobilization of the large intestine), whereas the group physical therapy was submitted to a sham procedure (superficial touching over the intestines). Evaluations were conducted prior to the intervention, immediately after the first intervention session and one week after the end of the five sessions. At each evaluation, the static balance was analyzed using a computerized plantar pressure sensor. Moreover, an intestinal symptoms rating scale was administered during the pre-intervention evaluation, and one week after the end of the intervention. RESULTS: Significant improvements were found in intestinal symptoms (frequency of bowel movements, abdominal pain/discomfort, difficulty eliminating stools, sensation of intestinal swelling or distention, difficulty eliminating gas, sensation of incomplete bowel movement and, anal pain during bowel movement) and static balance (anteroposterior sway F = 82.06, p = 0.0001; velocity of anteroposterior sway F = 17.6, p = 0.001; and velocity of mediolateral sway F = 4.41, p = 0.01). CONCLUSION: Visceral mobilization can be part of a neurologic rehabilitation program to improve symptoms of constipation and static balance in stroke survivors.

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