Parkinsons Disease

Comparison of gait training versus cranial osteopathy in patients with Parkinson’s disease: a pilot study.

Authors: Müller T, Pietsch A.


A physiotherapy subtype is gait training (GT), which aims on correction of posture and gait re-education in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Osteopathy in the cranial field (OCF) is a gentle manual method to treat dysfunctions of the central nervous system. Therapists may employ GT and OCF to bypass deficient basal ganglia dysfunction, which causes gait disturbances in PD.
Objectives of this pilot study were to demonstrate the efficacy of both procedures on gait and to compare their effects within a cross over design.
18 PD patients received on two subsequent days one GT- and one OCF session each. The ten meter walking test (WT) was performed before and after each therapeutic intervention.
GT reduced the number of steps but not the interval in the WT. OCF declined the period but not the step frequency in the WT. The computed differences of WT outcomes before and after each intervention did not vary between both methods. Both sessions together shortened the interval but not number of steps in the WT.
GT improves walking behaviour with a specific focus on an optimised performance of the necessary movement sequences regarding their accuracy and amplitude. As OCF decreased the interval, it ameliorates speed of motion execution during gait. GT and OCF enhance different aspects of gait in PD.