Category: Physical Therapy

UAB to study link between sleep and pain in knee osteoarthritis

Link Between Sleep and Osteoarthritis Knee PainResearchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) want to know more about the relationship between sleep and pain.

“It certainly makes sense that pain can interfere with a good night’s sleep, but there is growing evidence that poor sleep can itself lead to an increase in pain,” said Megan Ruiter, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in UAB’s Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology. “Understanding this relationship could open up new avenues in pain management through the treatment of sleep disorders.”

Ruiter is studying the sleep and pain relationship among patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint disease affecting mainly the hands, knees, hips and spine. Pain from this disease is common, though the experience of the pain can widely vary among patients, regardless of how much the disease has progressed.

Full story of sleep and osteoarthritis at

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Barefoot Running May Lessen Knee Pain

Running Barefoot May Help Knee PainA new study adds to growing evidence that various combinations of footwear and foot strike might be a way to address chronic pain in a specific body part.

In this case, research found that running barefoot can lessen impact forces at the knee. The findings suggest that runners with a history of knee pain might get some relief with bouts of barefoot running.

For the study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers measured knee (“patellofemoral” in researchese) movement and ground reaction forces when 22 experienced runners ran barefoot and in a neutral cushioned shoe.

“Running barefoot decreased peak patellofemoral joint stress by 12% in comparison to shod running,” the researchers wrote. “The reduction in patellofemoral joint stress was a result of reduced patellofemoral joint reaction forces while running barefoot.”

Full story of running barefoot may help knee pain at Runners World

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Chiropractic Techniques Help to Lower Blood Pressure?

Chiropractic Techniques Help to Lower Blood PressureHigh blood pressure is one of the many symptoms stemming from nerve interference in the neck. Chiropractic patients can experience a significant drop in blood pressure – even after just one adjustment!

The University of Chicago’s Hypertension Centre’s Dr. George Bakris reported back in 2007 that he and his team were astonished by the effects of chiropractic care on patients with high blood pressure. This followed a study, during which Dr. Bakris and his team monitored 25 patients in the early stages of hypertension who received an upper cervical (upper neck) adjustment from a Doctor of Chiropractic, against 25 patients who received a placebo adjustment.

None of the patients took blood pressure medication for eight weeks; their blood pressure was measured at the start of this study period and again at the end.  X-rays were also taken before and after the adjustment to indicate a measurable difference in the position of the vertebrae.

Full story of chiropractor to lower blood pressure at Fitness Goop

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Back pain? Numb legs? These ergonomic tips can help

Ergonomic Tips to Help With Back and Leg PainIs your back aching? Are your legs numb? Is your neck sore?

Check how you’re sitting at your desk. Are you slouched over your keyboard? Are you sitting with your legs crossed? Are you scooched forward in your chair? When was the last time you stood up and stretched?

You’ve probably heard it all before. Yet you fall right back into old habits and allow yourself to become so absorbed in your work that you don’t take regular breaks. But if you don’t change your ways, experts say, you’re more likely to develop musculoskeletal injuries such as back and neck pain or carpal tunnel syndrome.Yet your aches and pains can likely be relieved by simply adjusting your posture — and getting up out of your chair periodically. Recent studies, such as one from Kansas State University, show that the more you sit, the greater the risk from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Using an “active workstation” — such as a treadmill desk or exercise-ball chair —is one way to combat sedentary tendencies. But ergonomists offer other ways that don’t require fancy equipment. Use the acronym A.R.M.S. (see box) to remind yourself how to sit and stay active so that you have the greatest chance of avoiding workplace-related health problems.

Full story of ergonomic tips to help pain at Cleveland Live

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12 odd pain relief tricks that work

pain-reliefAfter, oh, age 8 or so, you no longer get away with wailing when you get stung by a bee or stub your toe. But unfortunately—whether it’s a much-needed bikini wax or your annual mammogram—pain is a part of our everyday lives. It turns out, though, that you don’t have to rely only on your OTC aspirin to get relief. Research reveals some quirky but effective natural ways to reduce aches without popping a pill.

1. Shout a four-letter word

Next time you take a spill, don’t hold your tongue. Swearing can increase your tolerance for discomfort, found British researchers. People could keep their hands submerged 35% longer in a tub of ice-cold water when they repeated an epithet in lieu of a more acceptable word. Swearing may trigger a series of physical and hormonal reactions that ease the sting of an injury.

2. Flip through photos

Scanning your iPhone for loving faces before an uncomfortable test like a mammogram may make it more bearable. Women who viewed pictures of their partners during a lab test reported less pain than those who looked at inanimate objects or strangers. A loving face may spur the release of chemicals that shut down pain-processing areas of the brain.

Full story of pain relief tricks at Fox News

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Study shows citywide policy may help stroke patients recover

City Policy May Help Stroke Victims RecoverA citywide policy enacted in 2011 — involving Chicago ambulance crews taking suspected stroke patients directly to accredited hospitals with accredited stroke centers — was associated with increased usage of a therapy that can reverse the effects of a stroke if received in time, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Neurology on Monday.

Before the change, rates of stroke patients getting what’s known as intravenous tPa was 3.8 percent of all patients. After, it improved to 10.1 percent.

Intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPa) is used to restore blood flow through blocked arteries that occurs when someone has an acute ischemic stroke. But it needs to be administered within 4.5 hours of the time a stroke happens in order to be effective.

The study, led by Dr. Shyam Prabhakaran at Northwestern University, is the best indication yet that the creation of an established stroke system in Chicago has had a positive effect on stroke patients.

Full story of policy to help stroke victims at Chicago Sun-Times

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Osteoarthritis associated genes: an interview with Professor Jonathan Tobias, University of Bristol

Osteoarthritis Associated with GenesWhat is currently known about osteoarthritis and genetics?

Joints are lined by articular cartilage, loss of which is one of the hallmarks of osteoarthritis. Articular cartilage is made up of a number of proteins, such as type II collagen. In rare forms of osteoarthritis, one of these structural proteins is defective as a result of a genetic mutation.

A number of large scale studies have also attempted to identify more common genetic factors which affect the risk of developing osteoarthritis, as opposed to causing this condition outright.

Though the precise function of many of these genetic risk factors remains unclear, it seems that they largely act by altering the function of chondrocytes, which are the cells involved in the production and maintenance of articular cartilage.

These alterations may also manifest themselves in early life during the initial formation of cartilage, when subtle alterations in cell function may affect characteristics such as overall joint shape.

Full story of osteoarthritis associated in genes at News Medical

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Back pain: Most, not all, people with ailment can be helped

Helping People with Back PainShe knew pain like no other when her back went out one day and she could not get out of bed.

Pam Reber, 58, of Davenport, had never experienced a back problem in her life until about a year ago. It happened after she deep-cleaned a room for eight hours straight, and it only felt better after several doctor’s visits and months of physical therapy.

Colin Winters, 27, of Davenport, deals with back pain on a daily basis. He believes it could be traced to several sources, including the boots he wears at his factory job, the bed he sleeps in, the weight he gained one year and his former smoking habit.

“I work 12-hour shifts, and if I have old boots, you know, I get lower back pain,” he said.

Lower back pain is common to many Americans. Acute, short-term back pain generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks, according to the National Institutes of Health, or NIH.

Most back pain results from a trauma to the lower back, such as a sports injury, working around the house or in the garden, or a sudden jolt like that from an accident. Winters, in fact, thinks his back pain began with an injury to his tailbone and falls he’s taken over the years. But some pain can be diagnosed as a disorder such as arthritis.

Full story of helping back pain at Quad City Times

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