Craniosacral Therapy for the Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain

Haller, Heidemarie MSc; Lauche, Romy PhD; Cramer, Holger PhD; Rampp, Thomas MD; Saha, Felix MD; Ostermann, Thomas PhD; Dobos, Gustav MD

Clinical Journal of Pain:
May 2016 – Volume 32 – Issue 5 – p 441–449

Objective: With growing evidence for the effectiveness of craniosacral therapy (CST) for pain management, the efficacy of CST remains unclear. This study therefore aimed at investigating CST in comparison with sham treatment in chronic nonspecific neck pain patients.

Results: In comparison with sham, CST patients reported significant and clinically relevant effects on pain intensity at week 8 (−21 mm group difference; 95% confidence interval, −32.6 to −9.4; P=0.001; d=1.02) and at week 20 (−16.8 mm group difference; 95% confidence interval, −27.5 to −6.1; P=0.003; d=0.88). Minimal clinically important differences in pain intensity at week 20 were reported by 78% within the CST group, whereas 48% even had substantial clinical benefit. Significant between-group differences at week 20 were also found for pain on movement, functional disability, physical quality of life, anxiety and patients’ global improvement.

Discussion: CST was both specifically effective and safe in reducing neck pain intensity and may improve functional disability and the quality of life up to 3 months after intervention.


Effect of craniosacral therapy on lower urinary tract signs and symptoms in multiple sclerosis

Raviv G1, Shefi S, Nizani D, Achiron A.

Complement Therapy Clinical Practise:

2009 May;15(2):72-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2008.12.006. Epub 2009 Jan 30

Abstract: To examine whether craniosacral therapy improves lower urinary tract symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. A prospective cohort study. Out-patient clinic of multiple sclerosis center in a referral medical center. Hands on craniosacral therapy (CST). Change in lower urinary tract symptoms, post voiding residual volume and quality of life. Patients from our multiple sclerosis clinic were assessed before and after craniosacral therapy. Evaluation included neurological examination, disability status determination, ultrasonographic post voiding residual volume estimation and questionnaires regarding lower urinary tract symptoms and quality of life. Twenty eight patients met eligibility criteria and were included in this study. Comparison of post voiding residual volume, lower urinary tract symptoms and quality of life before and after craniosacral therapy revealed a significant improvement (0.001>p>0.0001). CST was found to be an effective means for treating lower urinary tract symptoms and improving quality of life in MS patients.


Influence of Craniosacral Therapy on Anxiety, Depression and Quality of Life in Patients with Fibromyalgia

Guillermo A. Matarán-Peñarrocha,1 Adelaida María Castro-Sánchez,2 Gloria Carballo García,3 Carmen Moreno-Lorenzo,1 Tesifón Parrón Carreño,4 and María Dolores Onieva Zafra5
1La Vega Sanitary District (Andalusian Health Public Service), Department of Physical Therapy, University of Granada, Spain.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine:
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 178769, 9 pages

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of craniosacral therapy on anxiety, depression, pain, sleep quality and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients up to 1-year post-treatment. Fibromyalgia is considered as a combination of physical, psychological and social disabilities. The causes of pathologic mechanism underlying fibromyalgia are unknown, but fibromyalgia may lead to reduced quality of life. The objective of this study was to analyze the repercussions of craniosacral therapy on depression, anxiety and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients with painful symptoms. An experimental, double-blind longitudinal clinical trial design was undertaken.

Results: At 6 months after a 25-week treatment period, patients in the intervention group showed a significant improvement in their levels of state anxiety, trait anxiety, pain, quality of life and Pittsburgh sleep quality index. The present study shows that craniosacral therapy improves the quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia, reducing their perception of pain and fatigue and improving their night rest and mood, with an increase in physical function. Our craniosacral therapy protocol also reduces anxiety levels, partially improving the depressive state. This manual therapy modality must be considered as a complementary therapy within a multidisciplinary approach to these patients, also including pharmaceutical, physiotherapeutic, psychological and social treatments.


The use of CranioSacral therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders: Benefits from the viewpoints of parents, clients, and therapists.

Kratz SV, Kerr J, Porter L

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2017 Jan;21(1):19-29. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2016.06.006

The objectives of this preliminary study were to explore: the use of CranioSacral Therapy for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the demographics of participants, and the retrospective interpretation of reported changes related to the intervention. Participants included therapists, parents, and clients.

Results: A total of 405 people responded to the recruitments and of the participants who completed surveys, 264 were therapists and 124 parents. Only a small sampling of clients responded. The demographics of professionals using CST for ASD, their level of CST training, and their qualifications to work with ASD were reflected. Demographics and referral sources of parents, and other details of their experiences, were surveyed. Perceived changes to the use of CST were explored through analysis of responses to both the Likert scale as well as the open comments.

Conclusions: This preliminary study introduces the concept of CranioSacral Therapy as a treatment option for symptoms associated with ASD. Its clinical use has been available for three decades but few empirical studies exist. The results of the survey suggest that CST is already being professionally recommended as a treatment. This study found that there were positive responses observed by all 3 targeted groups leading to the authors concluding that there is worthy cause to further investigate how CST benefits Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).