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Preliminary Evaluation of an Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment to Prevent Motion Sickness


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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2023 Dec 1;94(12):934-938.


Virginia A Thomas, Amanda M Kelley, Albert Lee, Thomas Fotopoulos, Jason Boggs, John Campbell


INTRODUCTION: Motion sickness affecting military pilots and aircrew can impact flight safety and, if severe, can lead to disqualification from flight status. However, due to the common adverse effects of motion sickness pharmaceuticals (e.g., drowsiness), medication options are severely limited. The purpose of this study was to explore the potential utility of a nonpharmaceutical method for motion sickness prevention, specifically an osteopathic manipulative technique (OMT).METHODS:A novel OMT protocol for the reduction of motion sickness symptoms and severity was evaluated using a sham-controlled, counterbalanced, between-subjects study design. The independent variable was OMT treatment administered prior to the motion sickness-inducing procedure (rotating chair). The primary dependent measures were total and subscale scores from the Motion Sickness Assessment Questionnaire.RESULTS:The OMT treatment group experienced significantly fewer gastrointestinal (mean scores postprocedure, treatment M = 20.42, sham M = 41.67) and sopite-related (mean scores postprocedure, treatment M = 12.81, sham M = 20.68) symptoms than the sham group while controlling for motion sickness susceptibility. There were no differences between groups with respect to peripheral and central symptoms.DISCUSSION:The results suggest that the treatment may prevent gastrointestinal (nausea) and sopite-related symptoms (sleepiness). These preliminary findings support further exploration of OMT for the prevention of motion sickness. A more precise evaluation of the mechanism of action is needed. Additionally, the duration of the effects needs to be investigated to determine the usefulness of this technique in training and operational settings.Thomas VA, Kelley AM, Lee A, Fotopoulos T, Boggs J, Campbell J. Preliminary evaluation of an osteopathic manipulative treatment to prevent motion sickness. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2023; 94(12):934-938.

Publication Date: 

2023 Dec



Thomas, AV., Kelley, MA., Lee, A., Fotopoulos, T., Boggs, J., Campbell, J. (2023) 'Preliminary Evaluation of an Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment to Prevent Motion Sickness', Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2023 Dec 1;94(12):934-938.

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