Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) on cardiovascular autonomic parameters after a rugby match.
Methods: Resting and reactivity (ie, response to orthostasis) measures of mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and heart rate variability were assessed in 23 male players after a single session of OMT, both 18 to 20 hours after a rugby match and in a corresponding no-match condition, in a randomized, sham-controlled, crossover design.
Results: Signs of reduced heart rate variability and elevated mean arterial pressure and heart rate were found 18 to 20 hours after a rugby match compared with the no-match condition. A significant increase in heart rate variability and a significant reduction in mean arterial pressure were observed after OMT in both the after-match and no-match conditions. Heart rate and heart rate variability responses to orthostasis were not affected by previous match competition, but were significantly larger after OMT compared with sham treatment.
Conclusion: This study suggests the presence of cardiovascular autonomic alterations in rugby players after a competitive match, which may be indicative of prolonged fatigue and incomplete recovery. In these players, favorable changes in cardiovascular autonomic parameters were observed following a single session of OMT.
Author keywords: Heart Rate; Manipulation, Osteopathic; Arterial Pressure; Autonomic Nervous System; Cardiovascular System; Fatigue; Homeostasis
Author affiliations: LC, AS: Stress Physiology Lab, Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Parma, Italy; Stress Control Lab, Collegio Italiano di Osteopatia, Parma, Italy; FC: Clinical Human-based Research Department, Foundation COME Collaboration, Pescara, Italy; FG: Stress Control Lab, Collegio Italiano di Osteopatia, Parma, Italy
Corresponding author: LC—email@example.com
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