This pilot study presents valuable elementary information for selecting an appropriate placebo when conducting OMT clinical trials. Effect sizes between HVLA and two possible placebo treatments are provided. These effect sizes can be used to help determine sample size estimations for future projects involving either a light touch or sub-therapeutic ultrasound placebo group as compared to an HVLA treatment group. Results of this pilot study suggest that expectations of the sub-therapeutic ultrasound placebo treatment are more similar to expectations of the HVLA treatment. Thus, using a sub-therapeutic ultrasound placebo may allow for a more optimal opportunity to identify a true treatment versus placebo effect. Additionally, it is important to control for prior experience with the various treatments, as those who are not naïve to manipulative treatment may have greater treatment expectations. The authors recommend either excluding subjects who have had OMT or chiropractic treatment or at least using statistical analyses to control for potential effects.