Author: Anneleen Galle, DO-MROB, BSc. Ost. Med. & Pia Van Looveren, DO-MROB, BSc. Ost. Med.
Supervisor: Pia Van Looveren, DO-MROB, BSc. Ost. Med.
Introduction: Many professional voice users regularly suffer from voice problems. However, little research has been done into this area from an osteopathic point of view. The present study, therefore, examines the effect of osteopathic treatment in singers and teachers. To evaluate this, seven parameters were compared between the control group and the intervention group.
Objective: Can an osteopathic treatment of the diaphragm cause a positive improvement of the quality of the voice?
Methods: The 30 professional voice users (singers and teachers) recruited from different music academies, primary schools and secondary schools in Belgium, were divided into two groups and compared. Group A (15 subjects) served as control group and group B (15 subjects) as intervention group. Group B had an osteopathic treatment following the black-box method. They were treated with a variety of osteopathic techniques, which were related to the diaphragm. The pre- and post-treatment measurements of different parameters were done with the program ‘Praat Doing Phonetics’, a spirometer and the Voice Handicap Index (VHI).
Findings: On average there was just one significant difference seen between the pre- and post-treatment measurements of the parameter ‘Jitter index’. There was a significant positive influence of the Jitter index post-treatment in the control group (A), but this influence was negative on the voice quality. On average there were no other significant influences seen. The indexes were individually evaluated relating to the significant influence of the used techniques.
Discussion/Conclusion: Further research is necessary to get a better impression about the influence of osteopathic treatment of the diaphragm in relation to the quality of the voice. A number of recommendations have been made for further research.
Keywords: Osteopathy, voice, professional voice users, dysphonia, Shimmer index