Comfort of a Transgendered person with OMT: A Case Study

Sydney Pirkle, Liza Ann Whitaker Suba, Garren Gebhardt

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Introduction: The Williams Institute estimates that there are 1.6 million persons aged 13+ in the United States that identify as a transgender individual. Transgender individuals may avoid or delay seeking healthcare services and often do not disclose gender identity due to fear of discrimination.

Case: A 20-year-old transgender male with a history of asthma and anemia presented to the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine clinic with complaints of right-sided, mid-back pain unassociated with any recent injury or trauma. He described this pain as chronic, daily, and a 2 out of 10 on a pain scale. Pain is exacerbated with sitting or lifting objects. Physical exam revealed decreased CRI, OM suture restriction, OA compression, restrictions and paraspinal muscle tension in the cervical and thoracic spine, and a restricted diaphragm. OMT was directed towards the somatic dysfunctions of the diaphragm, thoracic and cervical spine, and cranial structures. A variety of techniques were utilized however the most effective modalities were myofascial release, articulatory techniques, and HVLA.

Results: After the third treatment, the patient noted considerable improvement in his symptoms. He reported increased thoracic spine mobility following OMT treatments. The patient reported being comfortable with the providers providing OMT during appointments. He expressed that the OMM clinic was a welcoming healthcare environment where he was able to feel at-ease in discussing his medical history and background.

Discussion: Our case study aimed to gain to transgender patients' comfort during OMT appointments. It is possible that this research can be guided to assess a larger scale of transgender patients with their comfort and contribute to closing the disparity gap that currently exists. This study was limited by a lack of quantitative data of a comfort scale.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 16 Feb 2024
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2024
- Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, United States
Duration: 13 Feb 202417 Feb 2024


Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2024
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • transgender
  • osteopathic manipulative medicine
  • chronic pain


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