In findings on neck pain that echo the results of similar studies on low back pain, researchers have identified an association between early consultation with a physical therapist (PT) and lower rates of opioid prescription, imaging, and injections. Those lower-use rates contributed to significant cost savings over a 1-year study period compared with patients who waited 90 days or more before seeing a PT, according to the study’s authors.
The study, published in BMC Health Services Research, looked at health care utilization over 1 year among 308 patients who presented with neck pain. The patients were divided into 3 groups: an “early” group that consulted a PT within 14 days, a “delayed” group that received a PT consultation between 15 and 90 days after initial health care provider consultation, and a “late” group that waited from between 91 and 364 days to consult with a PT. All patients were members of the University of Utah Health Plans, either through private insurance or via Medicaid, and none had a recorded health care encounter for neck pain in the 90 days preceding initial consultation. APTA members Maggie Horn, PT, DPT, PhD; and Julie Fritz, PT, PhD, FAPTA, coauthored the study.
Office workers with neck pain may benefit from workplace-based strengthening exercises, especially those focused on the neck and shoulder, say authors of a recent systematic review.
Among all occupations, office workers are at the highest risk for neck pain, with approximately half of all office workers experiencing neck pain each year. “Workplace-based interventions are becoming important to reduce the burden of neck pain,” researchers write, “due to the increasing responsibility of companies toward employee health, and the potential cost-savings and productivity gains associated with a healthy workforce.”
This course systematically reviews the efficacy, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and harms of acupuncture, spinal manipulation, mobilization, and massage techniques in management of back, neck, and/or thoracic pain. In addition, the contraindications and safety profile of the three most prevalent complementary and alternative medicine therapies for back pain in adults compared to that for other complementary and alternative medicine therapies, conventional therapies, placebo, or no treatment will be investigated.
This course provides an overview of dystonia, a disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions. The symptoms are different depending upon the form of dystonia. The classifications of dystonia are presented, along with their symptoms. Current treatments for the disorder are reviewed, followed by an update on research being performed.
Work-related symptoms in the neck and shoulders are common among occupational computer users and other sedentary occupations. The goals of this CEU course are to understand the impact of neck pain and the strategies office workers use to manage their pain, and to investigate the effect of workplace neck / shoulder strength training on neck / shoulder pain and headache among office workers.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heal pain and many treatment options are available. This CEU course provides an overview on the physical and medical definitions of shock waves, as well as gives a detailed assessment of the quality and significance of studies on extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) in patients with plantar fasciopathy (PF).
Authors of a new study write that although systematic reviews provide “limited support” for the use of cervical traction to manage neck pain, a recent survey of APTA Orthopaedic Section (OS) members revealed that most physical therapists (PTs) in the section use it, even when it’s a less strongly indicated intervention. They believe that the high rate of use—and the variety of traction methods employed—point to the tendency of PTs to pursue “comprehensive plans of care.”
The study, e-published ahead of print in The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, is based on responses to a survey sent to 4,000 OS members nationwide. A total of 1,001 members responded to the questionnaire, which included 28 open- and closed-ended questions on demographics, adherence to classification criteria for traction, delivery methods used, and additional interventions, as well as 2 clinical scenarios.
According to a new study, providing physical therapy within 4 weeks after an individual first experiences neck pain is a win-win-win proposition for physical therapists (PTs), payers, and most importantly, patients. Researchers found that getting to a PT early not only achieved more improvement per $100 spent, but actually doubled a patient’s odds of decreased disability compared with patients who were treated after a delay of more than 4 weeks.
Researchers tracked 1,531 patients using an outcomes management system maintained by Intermountain Healthcare, a private nonprofit system, to analyze changes to disability and pain scores through an episode of neck pain. Patients were included if they had 2 more visits to a PT over fewer than 180 days, and if they recorded scores of 10 or greater on the Neck Disability Index (NDI) and 2 or greater on the Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS).
Carried out by Dr Giresh Kanji, the research at Masey University in Wellington showed that immersing oneself in a sauna not only reduced the intensity of pain related to a headache, but also worked to minimize its duration.
Mr Mouw, who owns West Virginia-based Almost Heaven Saunas, said: “We’ve always known about the health benefits of regular sauna use, and the benefits are well-documented. For instance saunas are an excellent method of reducing stress and are terrific for detoxification because they encourage the release of toxins through the skin as a result of the intense heat in the sauna.”
“In addition, regular sauna use strengthens the immune system, improves circulation, causes cardio conditioning, and more.”
Mouw continued, “It’s certainly nice to see more scientific studies being carried out to highlight these benefits both within the medical community and the general public at large.”
High 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.