December 6, 2019

Spinal Manipulation, Oxidative Stress and Pain: New study offers up potential links

A recent study appearing in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics has examined spinal manipulative therapy and tactile allodynia (or hypersensitivity to touch). The results present a possibility laden with meaning for chiropractic:  that “manually assisted lumbar spinal manipulation therapy modulates systemic oxidative stress, which possibility contributes to the analgesia and recovery of peripheral nerve functionality [1].” The study in question was a rat model (which is a common biological model for human-related studies). The study, which had all its animal ethics approved by the University Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, used 30 adult male rats. They […]
May 14, 2019

Proprioception and Pain: the Link for Low Back Pain Sufferers

A recent study appearing in the Journal Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics has examined the evidence for a correlation between lumbar proprioception and clinical low back pain. It was a systematic review that searched 6 major databases and returned 5 studies (with a total of 204 patients) eligible for inclusion. At the end of the process, researchers have been able to claim that there is a relationship between pain intensity and proprioception, albeit a complex one. The nature of pain perception is complex and subjective. Research has revealed sex, age and ethnicity all impact on pain perception [1]. Other factors that […]
June 28, 2018

Better for Low Back Pain

A recent comparative study has examined the effects of adding chiropractic care to usual medical care for low back pain in US service members. The result is the least shocking thing any chiropractor could read: adding chiropractic care to usual medical care yields better results and decreases pain and disability at the six week mark. Whilst it might be an unsurprising outcome for chiropractors, it does give us data to rest on when urging public policy-makers to see chiropractors as part of the solution for low back pain.  With the US opioid crisis showing no signs of slowing, and with […]
May 23, 2018

Foundation Funded Study Reveals Multisensory Impacts Of Subclinical Neck Pain

As research mounts up, it is becoming increasingly clear that neck pain has impacts far beyond pain and stiffness. A recent piece of research, partially funded by the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, has become the first to reveal that people with subclinical neck pain have slower visual and multisensory response times, and the differences caused by subclinical neck pain don’t improve on their own. The research emerging up until this point has offered clear indications that neck pain has impacts on multiple areas of brain function and proprioception. Among the already-available research is work indicating: Proprioceptive differences in upper limbs […]
December 5, 2017

Case Study: Natural Management of Chronic Inflammatory Conditions

Inflammation Damages Lives Chronic inflammatory conditions are one of the most common presentations that Practitioners see in clinic. Whether it be autoimmune (AI) conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis (RA); degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis (OA); or injury resulting in chronic pain and inflammation, the pain and discomfort caused by chronic inflammatory conditions can significantly impact a patient’s quality of life, interfering with social activities, sleep efficiency, occupation choices and daily activities that are taken for granted by the wider community. Recently, Health World conducted a research clinic to successfully demonstrate the effectiveness of natural treatment prescriptions […]
November 13, 2017

Neck Pain, Cerebellar Processing and the Power of Chiropractic Care

Subclinical neck pain: it might be thought of as a relatively innocuous issue that many people would simply pop a pill for. Many a person may even skip a visit to the local chiropractor until it gets much more severe than the mild neck pain, ache or stiffness that makes up the condition. It is becoming increasingly obvious that pain isn’t the whole reach of the problem though. Recent studies indicate that subclinical neck pain can influence joint position sense (proprioception in upper limbs), cortical and cerebellar motor processing, and mental response times for complex rotation tasks. Best of all, […]
September 21, 2017

Fibromyalgia Case Study shows improvement in symptoms, cervical alignments and quality of life

Fibromyalgia is widely viewed as a pain syndrome with an unknown cause. To some practitioners, it is a bona fide medical condition. To others, it’s merely psychosomatic. Sufferers will tell you a common truth though: it can be debilitating, distressing, and it’s very, very real. Sadly, the issue of how to treat this pain syndrome is no more straight-forward than finding its cause. Cognitive behavioural therapy, low-dose anti-depressants and mild exercise are often prescribed but “there is no permanent change associated with this form of treatment [1].” This often leaves sufferers feeling frustrated at the apparent permanence of their predicament. […]
September 14, 2017

Manual or Instrument Applied Cervical Manipulation: Which is Better For Mechanical Neck Pain?

A randomized controlled trial recently published in the Journal Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics has taken on the task of comparing two different cervical manipulation techniques for mechanical neck pain [1]. While HVLA (high-velocity, low-amplitude) cervical manipulation has previously been shown to be effective for neck pain, the jury has still been out as to which technique was most effective for the condition. The study emerged from Australia’s own Macquarie University. Here’s how it went down. Mechanical neck pain is said to be the most common type of neck pain, and is the reason for many a chiropractic visit. Mechanical neck […]
August 10, 2017

Spondylolisthesis & Chiropractic: What The Research Indicates

Spondylolisthesis is a condition that will be all too familiar to chiropractors. Occurring due to overuse, injury or congenital defect (among other factors), the condition ranges in its presentation from asymptomatic to painful and debilitating. Most often, it occurs in the lumbar and sacral areas of the spine (usually at L5-S1) when the lumbar spine slips off the sacrum. Usually, “Spondy” patients are told NSAIDS, discontinuation of contributing activities and (potentially) surgery are their best options in terms of management. But are they the only options? A range of chiropractic case studies suggest that chiropractic care and the correction of […]
July 6, 2017
chronic pain

Fear Increases Pain, But There’s Something We Can Do About It

Studies dating back more than a decade have revealed that fear of pain is a prognostic factor in chronic pain. That is, fear of pain and severity of pain are very much linked. This can create avoidance behaviour that, though helpful in the short term, can “become a maladaptive response leading to increased fear, limitation of activity, and other physical and psychological consequences that contribute to disability and persistence of pain [1].” A recent study has revealed that there is something we can do about this though, and the key lies in understanding the very thing we fear. Contemporary fear-avoidance […]
June 22, 2017

Manual Therapy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: How Effective is it?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is thought to affect around 3% of the adult population, and is one of the most commonly described neuropathies of the peripheral nervous system [1, 2]. Characterised by numbness, tingling, pain and weakness in the thumb, index and middle fingers, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist. Although the risk factors include heredity, overuse, wrist injuries and a range of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions [1], therapeutic options usually major on anti-inflammatory drugs or surgery. Physical therapy has long been used as a management technique for carpal tunnel syndrome, and this […]
June 9, 2017
Shoulder

Clinical Trial Shows Improvement Of Pain & Mobility For Shoulder Impingements After Cervicothoracic Manipulation

Shoulder pain is a problem remarkably common in the general population, with some experts claiming it lies second only to low back pain in terms of prevalence [1]. Risks for shoulder impingement injuries/syndromes include repetitive activities at or above the shoulder line, making this a problem particularly poignant for sportspeople or manual labourers among others. While many treatments for shoulder impingement syndrome are available, and manual therapies are included in this number, the mechanisms by which spinal manipulative therapy improves pain and mobility for this condition have not yet been established. A preliminary randomised clinical trial appearing in the Journal […]
April 4, 2017

Study Finds NSAIDs Only A Little Better Than Placebo For Back Pain

An Australian study recently published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases has put the efficacy of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for spinal pain under the proverbial microscope. The result, pulled together from 35 randomised placebo-control trials in a wide-sweeping meta analysis, is not good news for NSAID devotees. While there is some effectiveness for spinal pain, “the difference in outcomes between the intervention and the placebo groups is not clinically important [1].” Put simply, the difference between the placebo group and the treatment group was only small. When considered alongside the possible side effects tied up with NSAID use, […]
March 9, 2017

Heavy School Bags Biggest Pain In The Neck

It’s that time of year again. Kids have been back at school a few weeks and parents are starting to see just how heavy their kid’s backpacks are. Half the weight seems to be in the school bag itself, even before it’s loaded up with books and laptops and sports shoes.  Whilst being stoic and resilient are all qualities we want to see in our children, injury isn’t one of them. Numerous studies have documented the effects of spinal, shoulder and neck pain not to mention the effect on their gait from school age kids lugging around heavy bags1,2,3,4,5,6.  “There […]
January 10, 2017

Chronic Pain: Is It Body Or Brain?

It will come as no surprise to chiropractors (or indeed any health-care practitioner) that an alarming number of adults in the western world are chronic pain sufferers. It’s a problem that comes in many forms, from tangible disorders like back pain to more mysterious issues like fibromyalgia, but it usually results in a couple of predictable things: painkillers, and frustration as many chronic pain sufferers are told ‘its all in your head.’ The painkiller ‘solution’ is not without a significant amount of risk, albeit risk most sufferers are happy to take in order to reduce their suffering. Yet some are […]
November 24, 2016
Rejection

Why Rejection Hurts

Rejection hurts. But it doesn’t just hurt emotionally, it hurts physically. We refer to hurt and pain when we refer to our emotional status. Interestingly, they’re the same adjectives we use to describe physical pain. When we break up with a lover, or feel ridiculed or rejected by our peers we feel ‘hurt’. And it’s not just poets that know that a lover’s quarrel or parting can cause ‘pain’. But why is that? As it turns out, it’s because of the way our brains are wired. Researchers from Michigan University’s, Department of Psychology, have been studying the pain of rejection and the results […]
June 23, 2016

Studies Find Opiods Often Ineffective For Back Pain 

Every now and then a study comes along that makes you smile and think “Ah, I knew it!” This one landed quietly in JAMA Internal Medicine while we were all looking the other way. The New York Times did a tiny little blog piece on it, but for the most part, the world didn’t know the results of studies looking at nearly 8,000 participants that found opioids are often ineffective for back pain [1].   This is a little piece of evidence that points to something we have strongly suspected for quite a while: you can’t just mask back pain. You’ve got to address what’s causing it.  The study was a meta-analysis collating […]