Michael Kuchera, DO, FAAO

Professor of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM)



Michael L. Kuchera, DO, FAAO is a senior educator and an internationally known leader, teacher and researcher in osteopathic manipulative medicine.

Dr. Kuchera earned bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees from Iowa State University. He graduated with a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) where he later served in positions of advancing responsibilities as chair of OMM, OMM residency director, vice president for International Osteopathic Research and Education, and vice president for Academic Affairs and dean. He then directed the OMM Research and Human Performance and Biomechanics Laboratory at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). He also served as the clinical director of the Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging at PCOM.

Dr. Kuchera has published extensively on osteopathic medicine topics. In addition to co-editing and writing numerous articles and chapters, Dr. Kuchera co-authored Osteopathic Considerations in Systemic Dysfunction as well as two other textbooks with his father. He also co-authored a nationally recognized museum exhibit, The Healer Within, which has toured the country and the Smithsonian Institute.

Dr. Kuchera’s research interests include many topics in osteopathic manipulative medicine. He is studying the effects of exercise in multiple sclerosis, and the role of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) and other biomechanical approaches in improving function and quality of life in Parkinson's Disease. He has also done research on the efficacy of OMT in carpal tunnel syndrome and ankle sprains.

Dr. Kuchera has earned an international reputation as a worldwide leader in his field. He serves in numerous leadership positions and has been honored with a number of prestigious awards. Among his many responsibilities, he served as president of the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO), and represents the United States in the International Federation of Manual/Musculoskeletal Medicine in senior leadership office. In 2002, the AOA Council of Research awarded Dr. Kuchera the Gutenshohn-Denslow Award, the highest honor for a career of research and research mentorship. He was also named Research Mentor of the Year in 2008 by the American Osteopathic Foundation.

Clinical/Research Interests

  1. Biomarkers for Documenting the Effect of OMT (including nitric oxide [NO] from eNOS)
  2. Cranial Compliance & CSF Flow with Transcranial Doppler/Rheoencephalography
  3. Documentation, Forces Applied & Inter-Examiner Reliability in Palpatory Diagnosis
  4. Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Studies (especially carpal tunnel syndrome)
  5. Fascia, the Lymphatic System and Lymphatic Pumps
  6. Myofascial Trigger Point Pathophysiology and Treatment
  7. Neurodegenerative Disorders including Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson Disease
  8. OMT Effect on a Variety of Systemic Disorders
  9. Orthoses (Levitor®, Heel Lift, Effects on Back Pain, Somatovisceral Effects)
  10. Osteopathic medical Education
  11. Posture, Postural Balance & Gravitational Strain Pathophysiology
  12. Spondylolisthesis, Spondylolysis
  13. Sports Medicine and Sports Injuries
  14. Wellness in Aging and Chronic Disorders of Aging

Highlighted Publications

Sagittal Plane with Levitor®-Related Research A. 1983 – 1996: Institute for Gravitational

Strain Pathology, Inc.: "National Levitor® Center" Kuchera ML, 1987-1996; J.L.

Dickey/Kuchera ML 1983-1986 – all years funded

B. 1988 – 1993: Outside Grant: "Structural and functional alteration in association with one form

of conservative lower back pain management: The Levitor® Orthotic Device". M.L. Kuchera,

D.O./M.G. Bemben, Ph.D. - funded 1988 M.L. Kuchera, D.O. - funded 1989-90, 1992-93 M.L.

Kuchera, D.O./K.S. Lo, D.O. - funded 1991

C. 2006: The Prosthetic Foundation (Helsinki Finland). Ketola J (PI), Airaksinen O, Kuchera

ML, et al: “Comparing conservative treatment methods in symptomatic isthmic

spondylolisthesis patients: A pilot study. – Funded to Stadia Polytechnic, Helsinki Finland;

2006- funded

D. 2008-09: A multi-center pilot study to evaluate the effect of a pelvic orthotic and Osteopathic

Manipulative Treatment (OMT) protocol to reduce the impact of postural decompensation in L5-

S1 isthmic spondylolisthesis subjects with chronic, low back pain. Center for Chronic Disorders

of Aging Grant Kuchera ML, Burns D, Nicholas AS. – funded 2008-09

Meeting people through student government
Getting involved in student government helped Oluwabanwo Adeniyi '21 feel like she’s part of the campus community.
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Building relationships with faculty and coaches
After he explored his college options, Conor Smith '20 decided to choose Marian because of his interest in athletics and exercise science.
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Following her dream to be a dentist
After graduating cum laude with Marian's Class of 2017, Chrislyn (Church) Fite is well on her way.
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