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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in Tarsal Somatic Dysfunction: A Case Study

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2014, Vol. 114, 148. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2014.20

To the Editor:

Thank you to Joshua Batt, DO, and Michael M. Neeki, DO, MS, for their excellent case report on osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) for a patient with tarsal somatic dysfunction.1 This very useful and effective technique is easy to learn, is effective, and can provide instant relief to patients who have pain as a result of this common foot disorder.

Some may know this technique as the “Hiss whip technique.” I am sure there was no disrespect intended by Drs Batt and Neeki, but I think it is appropriate to acknowledge the historical contributions of those who developed and invented such OMT techniques. Although the authors did refer to the Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine textbook,2 they did not reference John Martin Hiss, DO, who was the originator of the Hiss whip technique. The Hiss whip technique was mentioned in the first edition of the Foundations textbook in figure 52.40, but Dr Hiss is not mentioned in the reference section.3 It appears that Dr Hiss's contribution to osteopathic medicine would have been lost completely were it not for the outstanding osteopathic historian Georgia Warner Walter. In her book The First School of Osteopathic Medicine, Ms Walter gives reference to Dr Hiss and eloquently describes him and H.R. Bynum, DO, presenting “demonstrations each day on establishing a foot practice” and conducting “a special course of foot technic following the close of the [American School of Osteopathy] convention” in 1911.4(p174)

Thank you for publishing this useful article. It is wonderful to have these young authors revitalize the original contributions of Dr Hiss to the colorful history of the osteopathic medical profession.


1) Batt J, Neeki MM. Osteopathic manipulative treatment in tarsal somatic dysfunction: a case study. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2013;113(11):857-861.

2) Kuchera ML. Lower extremity. In: Chila AG, executive ed. Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine. 3rd ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011:602-639.

3) Kappler RE, Johns HMIII. High-velocity low-amplitude thrust techniques. In: Ward RC, executive editor. Foundations for Osteopathic Medicine. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins; 1997.

4) Walter GW. The First School of Osteopathic Medicine. Kirskville, MO: The Thomas Jefferson University Press; 1992.

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