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Symptoms of spinal dysfunction mimicking systemic diseases (Ogundana Syndrome): a review of 35 cases treated with manual therapy over 30 years
  1. Michael O. Egwu1 and
  2. Vincent C.B. Nwuga2
  1. 1Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife & OAU Teaching Hospitals Complex and E.M.O Physiotherapy Clinic Ile-Ife, Nigeria
  2. 2Bodija Physiotherapy Clinic, Bodija, Ibadan & Department of Physiotherapy, OAU Teaching Hospitals Complex and Dean Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences OAU Ile-Ife, Nigeria
  1. Corresponding author: Michael O. Egwu, Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Nigeria egwumo{at}


Objective and Method Symptoms manifesting in other parts of the body signaling the existence of spinal dysfunction (Ogundana Syndrome) in patients (N = 35, age range 20-56yrs; mean age 36yrs) diagnosed to have systemic diseases but treated with manual therapy were identified after a 30 year case note review.

Results Incipient parkinsonism (general edema and expressionless mask face), stroke (weakness of one side of the body), tinnitus (headache with noise in one or both ears), breast cancer (breast pain) and dyspnea (difficulty in breathing) were some physician diagnoses and clinical symptoms presented. One percent rate occurrence was noted affecting significantly more females (74%) than males (26%, P<0.001). This involved people with family history of back pain (66%) engaged in low income occupations (farming 40%, trading 25%, artisans 15% and civil servants 20%). Symptoms got better after vertical oscillatory pressure therapy to appropriate spinal regions. Duration of treatment was influenced by duration of spinal dysfunction prior to therapy and age of younger patients.

Conclusion One percent of patients with spinal dysfunction misdiagnosed to have systemic diseases due to misleading symptoms are finally referred for physiotherapy of manifesting symptoms. Manual therapy to the appropriate vertebro-geographic region(s) relieves the symptom (s) without prejudice to existing diagnosis.

  • Spinal dysfunction
  • Systemic diseases
  • Mimicking symptoms
  • Ogundana Syndrome
  • Manual therapy

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