Study Finds Tennis Elbow Treatments Provide Little to No Benefit

BOSTON – The painful condition known as “tennis elbow” results from overuse of the tendons in the forearm, typically in a patient’s dominant arm. A repetitive stress injury, tennis elbow affects not just athletes, but also tradesmen, food industry workers, manufacturers and office workers – anyone who uses the hands and wrists for hours each day. Numerous treatments are available to the 200,000 new patients diagnosed with tennis elbow in the United States each year, but few high quality trials have compared these approaches.

In the largest analysis to date, researchers and clinicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center(BIDMC) have compared the efficacy and safety of non-surgical treatment options for tennis elbow – also called enthesopathy of the extensor carpi radialis brevis (eECRB). Published today in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the meta-analysis reveals that none of the 11 non-surgical treatment options – including physical therapy, acupuncture, oral anti-inflammatory medications, local botulinum toxin injection therapy, ultrasound, laser therapy and more – performed significantly better than placebo in addressing patients’ pain and that all increased patients’ odds of adverse events.

Full story at bidmc.org

What are the best stretches for tight hamstrings?

The hamstrings are very susceptible to injury, and people who participate in sports that involve running or sprinting are prone to developing tightness or injury in these muscles.

The hamstrings refer to three different muscles in the back of the thigh that run from the hip to the knee. This muscle group helps us walk, run, and jump.

Because people use their hamstrings in everyday movements such as walking, it is important to keep these muscles loose. Stretching will help people avoid strains and muscle tears.

This article will discuss seven of the best hamstring stretches, when to use them, how often to use them, and the benefits of hamstring stretches.

Full story at Medical News Today

78 science backed benefits of weightlifting for seniors

The aging process is a daunting and inevitable one.

Which is why effort and action must be taken to improve the overall health, longevity, and quality of life.

Despite this, 80% of adults are not engaging in enough physical activity to reach prescribed guidelines. In general, but especially for seniors, inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are extremely dangerous.

What are the dangers exactly? Increased risk of serious adverse health conditions such as blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, cholesterol issues, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, depression, and death from any cause. In 2008 there were 5.3 million deaths worldwide caused by a lack of physical activity out of the 57 million deaths worldwide.122

Many people know weightlifting is hugely beneficial but think light walking or recreational activity is “good enough” for seniors. There is this misconception that older aged individuals should stay away from any strenuous activity that can build strength like weightlifting.

Full story at runrepeat.com

In-home physical therapy care for knee replacement patients leads to better recovery

A team of physical therapy researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine have conducted one of the first full-scale studies to assess the effectiveness of in-home physical therapy care for patients who have had knee replacement surgery.

The study analyzes Medicare home health care claims for patients treated with total knee arthroplasty in 2012 who received home health care services for their post-operation rehabilitation.

Generally, patients who received more physical therapy visits at home were able to recover better from the surgery. The optimal number of home-care visits by physical therapists was six to nine. Researchers also found that patients living in a rural area or having other complex medical conditions were associated with fewer, not more, home health care visits.

Full story at news-medical.net

CSM Delivers: Technology and Physical Therapy

Technology continues to advance at an exponential rate, but what does that mean for the profession? More important, what does it mean for patients in the here-and-now?

The 2019 APTA Combined Sections Meeting, set for January 23-26 in downtown Washington, DC, includes multiple sessions that go beyond the wow factor of technology and gets to practical applications in the clinic. Check out these suggestions, and find other relevant programming by searching the CSM programming page.

Why We Love AND Hate Our Robots: Implications for Everyday Clinical Practice
When it comes to the utilization and efficacy of robotic technology in rehabilitation of individuals with neurological diagnoses such as stroke and spinal cord injury, the research can be both encouraging and discouraging. What’s behind the discrepancy in outcomes? Learn about the good and the not-so-good in robotic technology, implications for clinical practice, and when other evidence-based therapies are worth considering. Friday, January 25, 3:00 pm–5:00 pm.

Full story at APTA

Patellofemoral Pain: 2018 Consensus statement on exercise therapy and physical interventionsns

Patellofemoral Pain (PFP) is an umbrella term that describes peripatella or retropatella pain in the absence of other pathologies. Other descriptions for PFP include patellofemoral pain syndrome, anterior knee pain and chondromalacia patellae (Brukner et al, 2017) and is common in loading activities such as squatting, running and stair ambulation (Crossley et al, 2016).

Although numerous intra and extra articulating structures could be responsible for the production of PFP, the actual cause is not entirely understood (Collado and Fredericson, 2010). One consideration is that PFP is a result of an increased loading through the knee, causing peripatella synovitis or damaging the articulating patellofemoral cartilage which, although avascular and aneural could result in an inflammatory cascade that produces synovial irritation (Brukner et al, 2017).

PFP has shown to affect adolescents, young adults, elite athletes as well as members of the general population with incidence rates varying between 15%-45% and is considered one of the most common types of knee pain (Smith et al, 2018).

Full story at PhysioSpot

Paralyzed man regains his ability to stand, walk with spinal cord stimulation and physical therapy

Spinal cord stimulation and physical therapy have helped a man paralyzed since 2013 regain his ability to stand and walk with assistance. The results, achieved in a research collaboration between Mayo Clinic and UCLA, are reported in Nature Medicine.

With an implanted stimulator turned on, the man was able to step with a front-wheeled walker while trainers provided occasional assistance. He made 113 rehabilitation visits to Mayo Clinic over a year, and achieved milestones during individual sessions:

  • Total distance: 111 yards (102 meters) — about the length of a football field
  • Total number of steps: 331
  • Total minutes walking with assistance:16 minutes
  • Step speed: 13 yards per minute (0.20 meters per second)

“What this is teaching us is that those networks of neurons below a spinal cord injury still can function after paralysis,” says Kendall Lee, M.D., Ph.D., co-principal investigator, neurosurgeon and director of Mayo Clinic’s Neural Engineering Laboratories.

Full story at news-medical.net

More doctor visits can lower risk of suicide attempts in fibromyalgia patients

Fibromyalgia patients who regularly visit their physicians are much less likely to attempt suicide than those who do not, according to a new Vanderbilt University Medical Center study published in Arthritis Care & Research.

Patients who did not attempt suicide were at the doctor an average of 50 hours per year versus less than one hour per year for the group who committed self-harm, according to lead author Lindsey McKernan, PhD, assistant professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

“Fifty hours versus one hour – that’s a staggering difference,” McKernan said. “They might have been at one appointment in a year and this disorder, fibromyalgia, takes a lot to manage. It takes a lot of engagement.”

Full story at news-medical.net

A recipe for regenerating nerve fibers across complete spinal cord injury

Neuroscientists at UCLA, Harvard University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have identified a three-pronged treatment that triggers axons—the tiny fibers that link our nerve cells and enable them to communicate—to regrow after complete spinal cord injury in rodents. Not only did the axons grow through scars, they could also transmit signals across the damaged tissue.

If researchers can produce similar results in human studies, the findings could lead to a therapy to restore axon connections in people living with spinal cord injury. Nature publishes the research in its Aug. 29 online edition.

“The idea was to deliver a sequence of three very different treatments and test whether the combination could stimulate disconnected axons to regrow across the scar in the injured spinal cord,” said lead author Michael Sofroniew, a professor of neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “Previous studies had tested each of the three treatments separately, but never together. The combination proved to be the key.”

Full story at Medical Xpress

PT, PTA, Student Involvement in Special Olympics is Improving Health…and Changing Attitudes

Vicki Tilley, PT, and Donna Bainbridge, PT, ATC, EdD, wanted to make a difference in the lives of others by working with Special Olympics. Along the way, Special Olympics returned the favor.

“I have a different lens now,” Tilley said. “Being able to engage, explore, and interact with the ID [intellectual disabilities] population in a way that’s positive has changed the way I think about people in general, and about inclusion and access.”

“My experiences with Special Olympics have shaped my entire career path in practice, research, and programming,” Bainbridge added. “I have a better understanding of the health needs of individuals with ID, and what we as physical therapists can do to improve the lives and function of people with ID at all ages.”

As Special Olympics celebrates its 50th year, Tilley and Bainbridge are marking their 19th year with the program, and their 18th with “Healthy Athletes,” an initiative that brings health professionals and students from multiple disciplines to provide education, screenings, and other services to athletes. Both were instrumental in the creation of FUNfitness, the branch of Healthy Athletes responsible for screenings and education around balance, strength, flexibility, and aerobics fitness. FUNfitness is primarily performed by physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students.

Full story at APTA