Gabrielle Abate, SPT

Background:
• Post Partum Depression (PPD) 10-16% with symptoms lasting up to 1 year.
• Often goes undiagnosed or untreated.
• Adverse effects of pharmacological therapy with breast feeding and the stigma associated with taking antidepressants.

Clinical Scenario:
• 30 year-old female with complaints of low back and hip pain since having her first baby 4 months ago.
• She is worried her pain affects her ability to take care her daughter “the way a mother should”.
• She is taking antidepressant medication, but would rather not because she heard it may be harmful while breastfeeding
• She cannot sleep even if her baby sleeps. She cries daily and worries constantly. She does not feel hungry and is not eating regularly. Making decisions is overwhelming. She says she is not herself.
• Experiences urinary incontinence.
• She has not exercised in years.

PICO Question:
In women diagnosed with post partum depression (PPD) is exercise (including yoga and/or Pilates) a more effective treatment than standard care or no intervention for decreasing depressive symptoms?

Search Strategy:
Search Terms: “Exercise” AND “Post partum depression“ AND “Standard care” or “Usual care”.
Inclusion criteria:
• English language
• Dates 2000-2016
• Women diagnosed with PPD
• Exercise (one article including yoga or Pilates intervention)
• Control group consisting of usual care or no treatment
• Outcome measures
• Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) score of greater or equal to 10
• Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D) score of greater or equal to 10

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Results:

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Evidence Summary:
• Exercise interventions are statistically significant and clinically meaningful for mild to moderate PPD.
• The experimental group may decrease symptoms quicker than the control group.

Clinical Bottom Line:
• Exercise interventions are statistically significant and clinically meaningful for mild to moderate PPD versus trial medicine especially given the adverse events to the infant.
• CEBM Level 2 recommendation that women diagnosed with mild to moderate PPD could benefit from receiving an exercise program to decrease depressive symptoms compared to usual care or no intervention.
• At long term follow up both groups had similar decrease in depressive symptoms.

Limitations:
• Poor generalizability due to lack of diversity in participant demographics and small sample sizes.
• No blinding of participants.
• Participants in the intervention group were not excluded if taking pharmacological therapies

Application to Case:
Evaluate and treat low back and hip pain while providing education on the benefits of exercise in treating PPD. Additionally, patient is provided with a home exercise program to increase endurance, strength, and flexibility. The program should consist of a walking program and strengthening and stretching exercises which could include a yoga video. Patient will attend therapy twice per week for two weeks and once per week for the next two weeks. Patient is referred to a pelvic floor therapist to treat urinary incontinence.

The Future:
• Exercise is an emerging treatment to treat post partum depression.
• What is our role in treating post partum depression in physical therapy?
o Thorough history-taking
o Adequate time spent with patients throughout care
o Administering a depression scale when applicable 
o Tailor treatment plan to our patients’ needs

References:
1. Armstrong and Edwards. The effectiveness of a pram-walking exercise programme in reducing depressive symptomatology for postnatal women. International journal of nursing practice. 2004. 10.4: 177-194.
2. Buttner. Brock. O’Hara, et al. Efficacy of yoga for depressed postpartum women: A randomized controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 2015; 21, 94e100.
3. Da Costa, Lowensteyn, Abrahamowicz, et al. A Randomized clinical trial of exercise to alleviate postpartum depressed mood. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2009. 30(3): 191-200.
4. Daley, Blamey, Jolly, et al. A pragmatic randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a facilitated exercise intervention as a treatment for postnatal depression: the PAM- PeRS trial. Psychological Medicine, 45(11), pp. 2413–2425. doi: 10.1017/S0033291715000409.
5. Shu-Shya Heh, RN, MPhil, Lian-Hua Huang, RN, PhD, Shiao-Ming Ho, EdD, et al. Effectiveness of an Exercise Support Programin Reducing the Severity of Postnatal Depression in Taiwanese Women. BIRTH 35:1 March 2008.

Background

  • Therapeutic alliance (TA)- collaboration and affiliation between patient and therapist

  • Associated with better outcomes in general medicine and psychotherapeutic practices

  • Is the same pattern present in physical therapy? What specific outcomes are affected?

http://www.folklife.si.edu/talkstory/2014/five-on-the-black-hand-sideorigins-and-evolutions-of-the-dap/

http://www.folklife.si.edu

Case Scenario and PICO

25 year old mother and student referred to PT for chronic low back pain over 6 months.

  • No red flags present, 42% dysfunction on Oswestry, AROM limited by pain

  • Patient fearful she will not improve

The treating PT after evaluation focuses sessions on reassuring patient, including minimal exercise. The facility manager, also a PT, says future sessions should involve more therapeutic exercise to maximize results.

For patients with musculoskeletal pain, does enhanced therapeutic alliance predict improved outcomes compared to limited therapeutic alliance or exercise alone?

Search Strategy

searchInclusion Criteria: Article Type: Systematic review, RCT. Date range: 2011 – Present. Age group: Adult >18, Outcomes: pain, function. Providers: PT, MD,RN.  Intervention: Therapeutic  Alliance, Motivational Enhancement

Results

Significant results in Red. Articles ordered according to study quality. Top = high quality.

Clinical Bottom Line

http://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-4378085-stock-footage-african-american-woman-doctor-talking-to-camera.html

http://www.shutterstock.com

Mixed quality evidence including high and low quality studies indicates that Enhanced Therapeutic Alliance

  • applies best to chronic low back pain patients

  • causes increased pain tolerance even without therex

  • correlates with better outcomes in function, pain reduction and perceived treatment effect

Limitations

  • Poor design of lower quality RCT’s

  • Multiple and under studied outcome measures

  • Lack of power analysis

  • Lack of replication

  • Use of VAS

  • Use of high tech sham treatment

Application

http://www.blackenterprise.com/

http://www.blackenterprise.com/

Specifically target therapeutic alliance in Chronic LBP populations using a Motivational Enhancement approach including:

  • Collaborative goal setting

  • Affirming symptoms

  • Adjusting exercises if patient is resistant

  • Seeing patient one-on-one until alliance is built & therapeutic exercise program well tolerated

  • Using an Alliance Survey, such as the  Working Alliance Theory of Change Inventory

References 

  1. Fuentes, J., Armijo-Olivo, S., Funabashi, M., Miciak, M., Dick, B., Warren, S., Rashiq, S., Magee, D.J. and Gross, D.P., 2014. Enhanced therapeutic alliance modulates pain intensity and muscle pain sensitivity in patients with chronic low back pain: an experimental controlled study. Physical therapy,94(4), pp.477-489.
  2. Hall, A.M., Ferreira, P.H., Maher, C.G., Latimer, J. and Ferreira, M.L., 2010. The influence of the therapist-patient relationship on treatment outcome in physical rehabilitation: a systematic review. Physical therapy.
  3. Ferreira, P.H., Ferreira, M.L., Maher, C.G., Refshauge, K.M., Latimer, J. and Adams, R.D., 2013. The therapeutic alliance between clinicians and patients predicts outcome in chronic low back pain. Physical therapy, 93(4), pp.470-478.
  4. Vong, S.K., Cheing, G.L., Chan, F., So, E.M. and Chan, C.C., 2011. Motivational enhancement therapy in addition to physical therapy improves motivational factors and treatment outcomes in people with low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation,92(2), pp.176-183.
  5. Tse, M.M., Vong, S.K. and Tang, S.K., 2013. Motivational interviewing and exercise programme for community‐dwelling older persons with chronic pain: a randomised controlled study. Journal of clinical nursing, 22(13-14), pp.1843-1856.

 

 

Introduction:

  • Physical Manifestations such as hypokinetic movements can lead to an increased risk of falls in the Parkinson’s Population. BIG Therapy was created to address this specific limitation.
  • LSVT BIG Therapy
    • Training Protocol
      • High amplitude movements performed at high intensity (≥ 8 on RPE)
      • Minimum 4x/wk for 4 weeks with strict HEP
      • Certification needed

Clinical Case & PICO Question:

  • Eileen is a 65 y/o female with a PMH of Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease dx 11yrs, pt rated 3 on Hoehn and Yahr Scale, R humeral Fx 2 months ago secondary to fall. Meds include Siminet 4x/d & ASA as necessary.
  • Impairments on eval: Frequent faller (6 times in the last year), Diminished stride length, Freezing gait when turning
  • PICO: Can targeting the hypokinetic movements through BIG Therapy reduce the risk of falls in individuals with PD as opposed to traditional therapy techniques?

Search Strategy:

  • 3 Databases: PubMed, CINAHL, PEDro
    • Search Terms: BIG therapy AND Parkinson’s Disease AND Parkinson’s Disease AND Physical Therapy AND Falls
    • Inclusion Criteria: English, Full text, Humans, Adults >18, Idiopathic PD <5 on H&Y scale, minimum dosage of 1 therapy session per week for a minimum of 4 weeks, Used TUG as a primary or secondary outcome measure.

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Results: Studies in Red involve BIG Therapy, Studies in white are traditional therapy.

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Limitations:

Small sample sizes, lacking of blinding of patients and therapists, unable to generalize results to entirety of Parkinson’s population, ceiling effect of outcome measure chosen

Clinical Bottom Line:

Level 2 and 4 evidence exists that suggests LSVT BIG Therapy can help improve motor functions that assist in the decrease of falls risk in PD populations. Level 2 evidence also exists that demonstrates a direct decrease in falls for those participating in traditional therapy that focuses on resistance and/or balance training in individual or group settings. At this time, more research is required to determine whether LSVT BIG Therapy has a direct correlation to reduction in falls risks. Another important area to focus is whether the intensity of an exercise program can effect a patient’s fall risk.

Application:

Based on the evidence provided the best treatment method for Eileen at this time would be to participate in traditional strength and balance training with principles of BIG therapy included throughout.

BIG Therapy limitations: Cost, Time, UE involvement

Recommended Program:
Sessions 2-3x/wk for ~1hr: Primary treatment of UE ROM
Repeated functional movements: Sit-to-stand, lunging (all directions), bed mobility. Progress: supported to unsupported
Balance training: Reactive, Anticipatory, Sensory Integration
Progressive bodyweight activities including: Squats, H/T raises, BIG walking
Key Factor: All activities performed at RPE ≥ 7 – resting when needed

References:

1. Ebersbach G, Ebersbach A, Edler D, et al. Comparing exercise in Parkinson’s Disease – the berlin LSVT BIG study. Movement Disorders. 2010;25(12):1902-1908.

2. Goodwin V, Richards S, Henley W, Exings P, Taylor A, Campbell J. An exercise intervention to prevent falls in people with parkinson’s disease: A pragmatic randomized controlled trial. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2011;82:1232-1238.

3. Ebersbach G, Ebersbach A, Grust U, Wegner B, Gandor F, Kuhn A. Amplitude-oriented exercise in parkinson’s disease: A randomized study comparing LSVT-BIG and a short training protocol. J Neural Transm. 2015;122:253-256.

4. Janssens J, Malfroid K, Nyffeler T, Bohlhalter S, Vanbellingen T. Application of LSVT BIG intervention to address gait, balance, bed mobility, and dexterity in people with parkinson disease: A case series.Phys Ther. 2014;94(7):1014-1023. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20130232 [doi]

5. Morris M, Menz H, McGinley J, et al. A randomized controlled trial to reduce falls in people with parkinson’s disease. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 2015;29(8):777-785

 

Patient Profile:

  • 35 year old male
  • Presented to outpatient physical therapy 4 weeks ago with golf related LBP
  • Re-evaluation: 0/10 pain at rest, 2/10 pain with golf related activities, ODI: 12%
  • Completed goal of playing 18 holes of golf with a pain level no greater than 3/10

Patient Goals:

  • Improve golf performance (driving distance, iron distance, etc.)

PICO:

Is exercise effective in improving golf performance and sport specific strength in adult male golfing athletes?

  • search terms “Golf Performance” and “exercise” used in PubMed, Cinahl, and PEDro
  • 97 articles found
  • 3 duplicates removed
  • 94 abstracts screened
  • 80 irrelevant
  • 13 articles retrieved in full
  • 8 excluded after application of inclusion/exclusion criteria
  • 5 articles included

Inclusion Criteria:

  • male golfing athletes
  • adult population
  • preference given to RCT’s

Exclusion:

  • Case studies
  • Female
  • Pediatrics
  • Musculoskeletal injuries within last 6 months

Results:

Author Date and Country Patient Group Study Type and Level of Evidence Outcomes Key Results Study Weaknesses
Fletcher, 2004 United Kingdom 11 male golfers handicap 5.5 SD 3.7 (classified as very good) Randomized Control Trial

Level 2

PEDro: 6/10

Club head Speed (km/h)

Driving Distance (m)

Golfers showed a significant improvement in both club head speed and average drive distance following the completion of an 8 week sport specific training program when comparing pre and post treatment test outcome measures (1.5% and 4.3% increase respectively).

 

Golfers showed significant improvement in club head speed and driving distance following an 8 week training program when compared to the control, but club head speed improvements may not be considered clinically significant.

 

 

 

Extremely small sample size

No blinding of subjects or researchers

No long term follow up

Alvarez, 2012

Spain

10 right handed male golfers, age 24 SD 6.7 years, handicap below 5 Randomized Control Trial

Level 2

PEDro: 5/10

Ball Speed (km/h)

 

Club mean acceleration (m/s2)

Golfers who completed a supervised 18-week strength training program showed a statistically and clinically significant improvement in both ball speed and club mean acceleration upon program completion compared to pre-intervention test and compared to control group.

 

Golfers who completed 18-week strength training program showed significant decreases in improvements made to ball speed and club mean acceleration at 5-week post training follow up.

 

Ball speed improvements were still significant at 5 week follow up compared to pre-intervention, but club mean acceleration improvements were not significant at 5 week follow up when compared to pre-intervention outcome measures.

 

 

 

 

 

Very small sample size

Validity and reliability of outcome measures not reported

Many outcome measures considered for this experiment are not relevant to improved golf performance

Patient population extremely specific –male, right handed, elite level golfers, age = early-mid 20’s so results cannot be generalized to all golfing athletes

Weston, 2013

United Kingdom

36 male golfers Randomized Control Trial

Level 2

PEDro 6/10

Club-head speed (mph) Golfers who completed the 8 week isolated core training program showed a 3.6% mean increase in club head speed.

 

exercise program focused primarily on core isometric exercises with spine in neutral alignment.  This study produced results similar to those focusing on swing specific exercises and thus suggests these benefits can be achieved at a reduced cost to the spine.

Small sample size

Other outcomes considered not well correlated with improved performance

No long term follow up

Compliance of exercise program in experimental group not accounted for

 

 

Fradkin, 2004

Australia

20 male golfers of various age and ability levels (handicaps) Randomized Control Trial

Level 2

PEDro

Club-head speed (m/s) Mean club head speed in exercise group improved by 12.8% between weeks 1&2 and by 24% between weeks 1 and 7.

 

Mean club head speed improved in the exercise group both within each exercise session and between each exercise session in a linear fashion.  Suggests that a warm up routine may have immediate impact on club head speed and if continued may continue to improve club head speed over time.

Small sample size

Lack of long term follow up

Validity and reliability of outcome measures not reported

Only one outcome measure reported

Moran,

2009

Ireland

18 male, right handed golfers, handicap 6 or less, age 23 SD 3.2 Clinical Trial

Level 3

Pedro: 4/10

Club-head speed (m/s)

 

Ball speed (m/s)

Dynamic stretching offered the greatest improvements in club head speed and ball speed when compared to static stretching and no stretching at all.

Club head speed was approximately 5% faster following dynamic stretching compared to static and no stretching.  Ball speed was approximately 6% faster.

No control group for comparison

Small sample size

Validity and reliability of outcome measures not reported

No long term follow up

Results cannot be generalized to entire golfing population

Clinical Bottom Line:

  • Current literature suggests that there is limited, low quality evidence proposing that exercise is effective in improving golf performance in male golfers
  • All studies mentioned feature very small sample size, most lack long term follow up, and most are not generalizable to all male golfers
  • Outcome measures are only correlated with increased golf performance.
  • No literature on what constitutes clinically significant change in outcome measures.

Application of Evidence:

  • Two pronged approach-implement a warm up conditioning routine focusing on dynamic stretching to increase ROM along with sport specific strength training program with use of medicine ball plyometric
  • Conversation with client about available evidence – what increases do they consider significant to them

References:

1.Fletcher I, Hartwell M. EFFECT OF AN 8-WEEK COMBINED WEIGHTS AND PLYOMETRICS TRAINING PROGRAM ON GOLF DRIVE PERFORMANCE. Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (Allen Press Publishing Services Inc.) [serial online]. February 2004;18(1):59-62. Available from: SPORTDiscus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 16, 2016.

2.ÁLvarez M, Sedano S, Cuadrado G, Redondo J. EFFECTS OF AN 18-WEEK STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM ON LOW-HANDICAP GOLFERS’ PERFORMANCE. Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) [serial online]. April 2012;26(4):1110-1121. Available from: CINAHL, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 21, 2016.

3.Weston M, Coleman N, Spears I. The Effect of Isolated Core Training on Selected Measures of Golf Swing Performance. Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise [serial online]. December 2013;45(12):2292-2297. Available from: CINAHL, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 19, 2016.

4.Fradkin A, Sherman C, Finch C. Improving golf performance with a warm up conditioning programme. British Journal Of Sports Medicine [serial online]. December 2004;38(6):762-765. Available from: CINAHL, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 19, 2016.

5.Moran K, McGrath T, Marshall B, Wallace E. Dynamic Stretching and Golf Swing Performance. International Journal of Sports Medicine [serial online]. February 2009;30(2):113-118. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 19, 2016.

 

Patient profile

  • 14 year old male
  • Spastic diplegic Cerebral Palsy
  • GMFCS Level II
  • History of tendon lengthening
  • Forearm crutches for community distances
  • Has not been attending PT regularly
  • Cognitively intact and motivated

Patient goals

  • Participate in physical education class
  • Play basketball without requiring rest breaks

Example of GMFCS Levels:

PICO

What are the effects of functional strength training versus typical physical therapy on walking ability in a pediatric population (<22 years of age) with spastic cerebral palsy?

Search Strategy 

100 articles identified

in: PubMed, CINAHL, OVID- Medline

16 duplicates removed

84 records screened

74 not relevant

10 full text screened

4 full text excluded

6 included

Inclusion Criteria

  • Pediatric Population (<22 years old) with a diagnosis of spastic cerebral palsy who are also ambulatory
  • Interventions that include strength or resistance training of lower extremities
  • Assessment of at least one of the following: 6 minute walk test, TUG, 20 meter walk test, GMFM D/E

Exclusion Criteria

  • Patient’s who had undergone botox injections within the past 3 months
  • Surgery in the past 6 months
  • Non-ambulatory patients
  • Adult population
  • Upper extremity training
  • Inability to follow direction or cognitive/behavioral diagnosis

Results 

 

 

Limitations

  • Small sample sizes, underpowered
  • Cross-contamination of intervention
  • Undefined control interventions; “typical PT”
  • Lack of randomized controlled trials
  • Lack of blinding
  • Recruitment of convenience

Clinical Bottom Line

There is conflicting and limited, low quality, evidence that suggests that strength training does not improve walking ability in pediatric populations with spastic cerebral palsy with diagnoses that fall into GMFCS Levels I, II, & III.

  • 2 studies were randomized controlled trials, both looking specifically at strength training, and lacking defined controls. Neither of these studies found significant improvement in any measures of walking ability, such as the TUG or GMFM D/E.
  • 3 studies, all lower level evidence; case studies or quasi-experimental studies, found evidence that strength training improved measures of walking ability, but did not have control groups and included other intervention strategies within their therapeutic sessions, such as dynamic balance or gait training.
  • The final study found that strength training and treadmill training both led to clinically detectable improved walking ability.

Application to Case

Strength training should be included in a standard physical therapy plan of care if it aligns with patient-specific goals or to specifically increase strength. Interventions that focus on gait training and walking endurance may be more beneficialwhen implemented as primary interventions to improve walking ability

Strength training does not appear to cause any negative effects to patients with spastic CP, although range of motion and spasticity should be monitored if strength training regimens are implemented.

References

Auld ML, Johnston LM. “Strong and steady”: a community-based strength and balance exercise group for children with cerebral palsy. Disabil Rehabil. 2014;36(24):2065-71.

Aviram R, Harries N, Namourah I, Amro A, Bar-haim S. Effects of a group circuit progressive resistance training program compared with a treadmill training program for adolescents with cerebral palsy. Dev Neurorehabil. 2016:1-8.

Aye T, Thein S, Hlaing T. Effects of strength training program on hip extensors and knee extensors strength of lower limb in children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. J Phys Ther Sci. 2016;28(2):671-6.

Dos Santos AN, da Costa CS, Golineleo MT, Rocha NA. Functional strength training in child with cerebral palsy GMFCS IV: case report. Dev Neurorehabil. 2013 Oct;16(5):308-14. doi: 10.3109/17518423.2012.731085. Epub 2013 Apr 25. PubMed PMID: 23617884.

Scholtes VA, Becher JG, Janssen-Potten YJ, Dekkers H, Smallenbroek L, Dallmeijer AJ. Effectiveness of functional progressive resistance exercise training on walking ability in children with cerebral palsy: a randomized controlled trial. Res Dev Disabil. 2012 Jan-Feb;33(1):181-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2011.08.026. Epub 2011 Oct 11. PubMed PMID: 22093663.

Taylor NF, Dodd KJ, Baker RJ, Willoughby K, Thomason P, Graham HK. Progressive resistance training and mobility-related function in young people with cerebral palsy: a randomized controlled trial. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2013 Sep;55(9):806-12. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12190. Epub 2013 Jun 22

 

 

Background Information:

dps-illustration-text_0

  • 4% of spinal cord injuries (SCI) lead to chronic mechanical ventilation
  • Mechanical ventilation, currently the gold standard for respiratory dependent patients, has many potential complications
  • Serious complications include:
    • Pneumonia, the leading cause of decreased life expectancy amongst this population
    • Respiratory Infection
  • Via transcutaneous electrical stimulation, the patency of the phrenic nerve can be determined preoperatively
  • If intact, these patients may be candidates for phrenic nerve pacing
  • Phrenic nerve pacers can be laparoscopically placed, including internal electrodes and an external transmitter

Clinical Scenario:

A 36 year old male sustained a C3 ASIA B SCI 1 week ago He is currently in the ICU being mechanically ventilated with no significant improvement. Prior to his injury, he was living at home with his wife and two young children and working as an investment banker. Physical examination findings include diminished sensation throughout thoracic region and no motor function below level of injury. Patient goals are to return to home and work independently with focus on resuming his role as a father.

PICO Question:

Does diaphragmatic pacing improve respiratory independence and QOL in individuals with spinal cord injury as compared to mechanical ventilation.

Search Strategy:

21 articles identified using PubMed, CINAHL and Cochrane.

Variations of Terms Used: “spinal cord injury”, “diaphragm pacing”, “respiratory”, “phrenic nerve”

Inclusion Criteria: Diagnosis of cervical spinal cord injury, ventilator dependence, English studies, published 2005-present

Exclusion Criteria: Diagnosis of  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, phrenic nerve lesions

Results:

Author

Year

Country

Patient Population Study Type and Level Of Evidence Outcomes Key Results
Tedde ML, et. al. (2012)

Brazil

Ventilator dependent quadriplegics post cervical trauma Clinical Trial

Level 3 Evidence

D&B: 12/27

Independence from MV3 •N=5

•At 6 month f/u:

•3 patients continuous DPS4

•1 patients 6 hours/day

•1 patient unable to sustain

Romero FJ, et. al. (2012)

Spain

Ventilator Dependent High-Cervical SCI patients Retrospective Review

Level 3 Evidence

D&B: 17/27

SF-36 •Social Functioning:

•PNP: 7.67 ± 1.80

•MV Group: 5.67 ± 1.17

•P value <.001

•No significant change in physical functioning, general health, role limitations, physical pain, vitality

Poluszny JA, et. al. (2013)

United States

Ventilator dependent SCI patients with intact phrenic nerves Retrospective Cohort Study

Level 3 Evidence

D&B: 16/27

Independence from MV3 •N=22

•18 participants continuous DPS4

•2 participants: 4 and 12 hours/day

•1 patient unable to sustain

•1 patient with prolonging life measures withdrawn

Hirschfeld S, et. al. (2008)

Germany

SCI patients with induced respiratory device dependency Prospective Cohort Study

Level 3 Evidence

D&B: 20/27

Patient and Physician reported QOL •Unanimous patient reported improved self confidence with PNP over MV
Onders RP, et. al. (2007)

United States

Ventilator dependent tetraplegics with a C2 injury occurring in childhood Prospective Cohort Review

Level 3 Evidence

D&B: 9/27

Independence from MV3, Patient reported QOL •N=10

•4 patients continuous DPS4

•4 patients day time only

•2 unable to sustain

•Unanimous patient reported preferences for DPS4, improvements in mobility and ease of integration into society

Limitations:

  • Lacking validated outcome measures
  • Small Sample Sizes
  • Procedures for implantation and weaning were variable
  • Lacking long term follow up
  • No control groups
  • Lack of homogeneity amongst groups
    • Age
    • Time on MV
    • Level of injury
    • Severity of Injury

Clinical Bottom Line:

There is low-level evidence that suggests phrenic nerve pacing is a safe and effective alternative treatment for ventilator dependent, high-level, cervical spinal cord injury patients. Additionally, this evidence supports decreased complications common with mechanical ventilation and improved resocialization, mobility, independence, and overall quality of life.

Application:

Phrenic nerve pacing has been shown to improve independence and quality of life. Due to my patient’s goals of returning to his work and family responsibilities, and the lack of any serious adverse events reported with this treatment, phrenic nerve pacing may be an appropriate alternative. After transcutaneous nerve testing determines the patency of his phrenic nerve, offering this as a potential alternative treatment to chronic mechanical ventilation allows my patient to be an active participant in his plan of care.

Acknowledgements:

Thank you to Dr. Richard Lauer for your assistance along the way.

References:

  1. Posluszny JA, Onders R, Kewin AJ, Weinstein MS, Stein DM, Knight J, et al. Multicenter review of diaphragm pacing in spinal cord injury: Successful not only in weaning from ventilators but also in bridging to independent respiration. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2014;76(2):303-9. Doi:10.1097/TA.0000000000000112
  2. Romero FJ, Gabarrutta C, Garcia-Forcada A, et al. Long-term evaluation of phrenic nerve pacing for respiratory failure due to high cervical spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 2012; 50(12): 895-8. Doi: 10.1038/sc.2012.74
  3. Tedde ML, Filho PV, Hajjar LA, Almeida JP, Flora GF, et. al. Diaphragmatic pacing stimulation in spinal cord injury: anesthetic and perioperative management. Clinics. 2012. 67(11). Doi: 10.6061
  4. Hirschfeld S, Exner G, Luukaala T, Baer GA. Mechanical ventilation or phrenic nerve stimulation for treatment of spinal cord injury-induced respiratory insufficiency. Spinal Cord. 2008; 46(11): 738-42. Doi: 10.1038/sc.2008.43
  5. Onder RP, Elmo MJ, Ignagni AR. Diaphragm Pacing Stimulation System for Tetraplegia in Individuals Injured During Childhood or Adolescence. J Spinal Cord Med. 2007; 30(1):25-29.

With further questions please contact Rebecca Maidansky at rmaidansky@temple.edu

Background:

It is well documented that survivors of stroke are at an increased risk of falls relative to age-matched controls.1,2 Ability to take a reactive step is paramount in recovery from an unexpected loss of balance.3,4 Therefore impaired reactive stepping has been proposed as one important component of the multivariate nature of falls following a stroke. One value that has been the topic of discussion in reactive stepping literature is the TFO, or time to foot off. This measure represents the time between the release of external support of an individual leaning their center of mass (anteriorly) outside of their base of support, to the time in which their body weight is no longer supported by the limb in which they choose to step. Characteristics of impaired reactive stepping have been shown to correlate with falls in elderly populations.2

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Search Strategy:

Pub Med:  Search Terms: (((stepping) OR reactive stepping) AND poststroke) OR reactive stepping[Title/Abstract]

CINAHL: Boolean/phrase: reactive stepping OR stepping AND poststroke

WOS: Search strategy : TITLE: (reactive stepping) AND TOPIC: (stroke)

Inclusion Criteria:

-Participants must be above the age of eighteen and had their neurologic incident at least two weeks prior to enlisting in the study in order to be considered ‘chronic.’

-The methodology of how the researchers obtained values related to perturbation or reactive response must be clearly explained within the article.

-At least one outcome related to falls in the stoke population must have been collected.

Exclusion Criteria

-Articles which only examined metrics on gait or focused on outcomes related to gait.

-Level V evidence

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tres

 

Rationale for data collection:

A lack of association between reactive stepping impairment and utilized clinical measures (BBS, gait velocity, STRATIFY falls risk tool) has been identified. This suggests a limitation may exist when drawing inferences with these measures to predict likelihood of falls. Therefore we may be missing a critical evaluative component in this patient population, which could also help us streamline our intervention. In addition, falls render increased healthcare utilization and diminished quality of life of affected individuals.

Methods:

-Setting and participants:

Leahy lab at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Subjects (n=6) recruited as part of a larger study at the university lab investigating moderate intensity walking in people with stroke. Subjects recruited from local physical therapy clinics, stroke support groups, and individuals who have participated in research and classroom activities previously at the USciences Department of Physical Therapy. Healthy controls (n=5) are healthcare students recruited by convenience.

Inclusion:

-People over the age of 18 years with one or more strokes at least 3 months previously

-Ambulatory without physical assistance of other person (orthotic devices, canes or walkers will be allowed)

-Able to follow instructions and able to communicate with investigators as assessed by specific NIH Stroke Scale questions.

Exclusion:

-Bone or joint problems that limit the ability to walk

-Resting hear rate outside of the range of 40-100 beats per minute

-Resting blood pressure outside of the range of 90/60 to 170/90 mm Hg

-Chest pain or shortness of breath with exertion

-Score of >1 on question 1b and >0 on question 1c on the NIH Stroke Scale inability to communicate with investigators.

Demographics:

Control group:

quatro

Affected group:

cinco

 

Upon entering clinic individuals were oriented to the purposed of the study, screened to be deemed fit for inclusion, and consented for participation. Then the following outcomes were collected: TUG, TUGmanual, TUGcognitive, 6MWT, 4 square step test (modified if unable), gait velocity-preferred, and gait velocity-fast.

They then underwent the reactive stepping assessment. They underwent five trials where they were able to step with whatever limb they desired. Following this five trials were done while blocking the preferred limb in an attempt to elicit a step with the non-preferred limb.

The method for each trial is as follows:

  1. Participant is to stand statically in their preferred foot position inside of a body weight support system designed to catch them if an attempt to regain balance is failed.
  2. Patient will be positioned on a GaitRite system. (Collecting data through ProtoKinetics Movement analysis software)
  3. A gait belt is then locked into a closed loop around the patient by tester #1 and placed outside of the subject’s shoulders, utilizing the acromion bilaterally as the landmark of standardization.
  4. A Lafayette Manual Muscle Testing myometer is then placed inside of the gait belt (with the screen visible to tester #1) so as to garner the force paced upon it when the gait belt pulls forward, as described in step #6.
  5. Tester #1 checks to make sure both feet are in alignment before having subject lean.
  6. As tester #1 holds the myometer statically in place, the individual is instructed to progressively lean forward into the gait belt until 8-10% of their precalculated bodyweight is displayed on the readout. The subject is then instructed to hold this position as best they can.
  7. The subject is then released 2-10 seconds after they are instructed to hold their ‘forward leaning’ position with the desired % body weight. At this time the subject is release by tester #1, inducing a reactive stepping response. If at any point the subject falls outside of the 8-10% range of their bodyweight, the process will be started over again from step #4.

Data Extraction

Extracting the TFO value was done utilizing the PKMAS software system for the GaitRite mat. In the photo below the box labeled ‘temporal 4’ gives the indication of when the subject was released through the sharp increase in slope of the center of pressure (red) reading. This time is noted, and the time at which pressure is no longer picked up by the stepping limb is noted. The time between these two values is noted. The GaitRite mat has a sampling rate of 120 Hertz, therefore frames are captured every 8 milliseconds.

tfo-ex2

Statistical analysis:

Nonparametric

Independent-samples Mann-Whitney U test

-To identify between-group differences in TFO and outcome measures

Spearman rank correlation coefficient (Spearman’s rho)

-To identify correlation between TFO and outcome measures

Wilcoxon signed-ranks test

-To identify between-limb differences in stroke and control group

 

seis

seite

Results:

**Red indicates statistical significance

Wilcoxon Signed ranks test

-No significant difference between TFOu and TFOr in either group.

M-WU:

ocho

nueve

Limitations:

-Inherent limitation in methodology (e.g. handheld myometer use). Non age-matched controls from sample of convenience. Small sample size limits generalizability and ability to establish validity.

Suggestions for future research:

Larger sample sizes. Research individuals who have experienced a stroke compared to age-matched cohort. Correlate TFO values with fall rates in the community. Explore utility of this measure as an outcome and how it responds to interventions. Cost-effective methods of collecting value in outpatient realm.

Citations

1.Maki B, Edmonstone M, Perry S, Heung E, Quant S, McIlroy W. Control of rapid limb movements for balance recovery: do age-related changes predict falls risk? Control of Posture and Gait. Maastricht, the Netherlands: International Society for Postural and Gait Research; 2001: 126-129.

2.Hilliard MJ, Martinez KM, Janssen I, et al. Lateral balance factors predict future falls in community-living older adults. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008;89: 1708-1713

3.Maki BE, McIlroy WE. The role of limb movement in maintaining upright stance: the “change-in-support” strategy. Phys Ther. 1997;77: 488-507.

4.Maki BE, McIlroy WE. Control of rapid limb movements for balance recovery: age-related changes and implications for fall prevention. Age Ageing. 2006;35(suppl 2): ii12-ii18.

5 articles from search:

  1. Mansfield A, Inness EL, Wong JS, Fraser JE, McIlroy WE. Is impaired control of reactive stepping related to falls during inpatient stroke rehabilitation? Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2013;27:526-33.
  2. Inness EL, Mansfield A, Lakhani B, Bayley M, McIlroy W. Impaired reactive stepping among patients ready for discharge from inpatient stroke rehabilitation. Phys Ther. 2014;94:1755-64.
  3. Martinez KM, Mille M, Zhang Y, Rogers MW. Stepping in persons poststroke: comparison of voluntary and pertubation-induced responses.  Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013; 94:2425-32.
  4. Inness EL, Mansfield A, Bayley M, McIlroy WE. Reactive stepping after stroke: determinants of time to foot off in the paretic and nonparetic limb. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy. 2016; 40:196-202.
  5. Lakhani B, Mansfield A, Inness E, McIlroy WE. Compensatory stepping responses in individuals with stroke: a pilot study. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 2011; 27(4): 299-309.

 

 

 

Background Information:

  • An estimated 3.8 million people sustain a concussion every year1,4
  • 10% – 33% of individuals with mild traumatic brain injury experience symptoms months to years later1
  • Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is defined as persistence of > 3 symptoms 7-10 days after injury5: Headache, Dizziness, Fatigue, Irritability, Insomnia, Concentration Difficulty, Memory Difficulty, Stress or emotion intolerance
  • One cause of PCS may be altered autonomic function and impaired autoregulation and distribution of cerebral blood flow

Clinical Case:

  • 15 y.o. female student s/p MVA 1 month ago hitting head on dash board
  • ER visit diagnosed mTBI –> prescribed “rest”
  • S/s:  headaches, fatigue, worsens with reading, noisy family, screen time
  • Goals: asymptomatic school day, return to tennis, recreational running
  • PT: Vestibular, postural, and cervicogenic exercises initiated

PICO: Is aerobic exercise beneficial in individuals with prolonged symptoms after mTBI?


Search Strategy: 1,247 articles identified in PubMed, CINAHL, Academic Search Complete

  • Terms: (concussion OR post-concussion syndrome OR mild traumatic brain injury) AND (exercise OR rehabilitation OR treatment). English language, peer reviewed, humans, 10 years.
  • Inclusion: subjects sustained mild TBI/concussion by means of sport, MVA, or other,  experiencing post-concussive symptoms > 2 weeks, exercise intervention defined, post-concussive related outcome measures (symptoms, fatigue, QOL, function)
  • Exclusion: acute phase mTBIs, moderate to severe TBI’s, non interventional studies

Results:

results-chart

aPost-concussive symptoms > 4 weeks aa > 6 weeks, bBalke Treadmill test, BDI: Beck Depression Inventory, PCSI: Post Concussion Symptom Inventory, PCS: Post Concussion Scale, SE: statistically significant effects listed (p <0.05)

Limitations and suggestions:

  • “Active” control groups1,3, Lack of control group2,3,5
  • Small sample size1-5
  • Multiple treatment interference2
  • Inadequate follow up1-3,5
  • Lacking consensus on intensity and duration
  • Optimal timing of intervention unclear
  • Higher quality research suggested to directly compare aerobic exercise with other interventions such as dual tasking, cervicogenic, vestibular exercises, and non participants.

Clinical Bottom Line:

There is moderate to low level evidence to support the use of aerobic exercise in patients with prolonged symptoms after sustaining a mild traumatic brain injury.  This particular literature review offers recent interventional case studies and a randomized clinical trial in which aerobic exercise is the primary intervention and assessment tool used to prescribe a customized, progressive, aerobic rehabilitation program whether on a treadmill or stationary bike. Each study reported a statistically significant change in some aspects of post-concussive symptoms such as return to full daily functioning, ability to exercise maximally without symptom exacerbation, and decrease in post-concussion symptom specific scales. No adverse events or negative impacts were reported in the studies from engaging sub-symptom exacerbation aerobic exercise in patients still experiencing prolonged symptoms after mTBI, which had previously been thought to be deleterious until research as such as been published in the recent decades.

It is proposed that exercise assessment and aerobic exercise training may reduce concussion-related physiological dysfunction by restoring autonomic balance and by improving autoregulation of cerebral blood flow. Controlled progressive aerobic exercise treatment may help to restore normal CBF regulation by conditioning the brain to gradually adapt to repetitive mild elevations of systolic blood pressure.3-5


Application:

  • Obtain baseline (use of BALKE, BUFFALO CONCUSSION TREADMILL TEST, or Bike Test described in Kurowski 2016)
    • Treadmill or bike
      • Stationary bike program indicated if excess head movements are provoking on treadmill
    • Monitor vitals
      • HR, BP, RPE, & symptoms
    • Progress intensity until exacerbation
  • Prescribe aerobic exercise program
    • Intensity: 80% of symptomatic duration OR symptomatic heart rate/RPE if patient able to self monitor
    • Frequency: 5 days a week, 4 to 6 weeks
    • Monitor symptom trends and modify program accordingly weekly
      • progress it!
  • Consider multi-modal treatment
    • Though aerobic exercise seems beneficial in ameliorating prolonged symptoms, consider challenging your patient in other modes such as dual tasking, vestibular, balance, and sport specific exercises alongside your aerobic exercise treatment (see Gagnon 2016) for they may be symptomatic in some realms but not others.

Acknowledgements:

Anne Galgon, PT, PhD, NCS

Contact: Jackie Pedersen, Temple Class of 2017. jacqueline.pedersen@temple.edu

References:

1. Kurowski BG, Hugentobler J, Quatman-Yates C, Taylor J, Gubanich PJ, Altaye M, Wade SL. Aerobic Exercise for Adolescents With Prolonged Symptoms After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: An Exploratory Randomized Clinical Trial.  J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2016 Apr 26. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27120294.

2.Gagnon I, Grilli L, Friedman D, Iverson GL. A pilot study of active rehabilitation for adolescents who are slow to recover from sport-related concussion. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2016;26(3):299-306

3.Leddy JJ, Cox JL, Baker JG, Wack DS, Pendergast DR, Zivadinov R, Willer B. Exercise treatment for postconcussion syndrome: a pilot study of changes in functional magnetic resonance imaging activation, physiology, and symptoms. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2013 Jul-Aug;28(4):241-9

4. Baker JG, Freitas MS, Leddy JJ, Kozlowski KF, Willer BS. Return to full functioning after graded exercise assessment and progressive exercise treatment of postconcussion syndrome. Rehabilitation Research & Practice. 2012:1-7

5.Leddy JJ, Kozlowski K, Donnelly JP, Pendergast DR, Epstein LH, Willer B. A preliminary study of subsymptom threshold exercise training for refractory post-concussion syndrome. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 2010;20(1):21-2

 

 

Background:

Prior to the 1990’s, physicians and their immediate family members could legally own ancillary healthcare services, as well as physical therapy clinics. A common method of abuse was physician self-referral of patients to their own facilities for testing, imaging, and rehab, and often times these services were not indicated.  In order to control excess spending, Congress looked to prohibit this type of conflict of interest between physicians and health services they refer to. Legislation was drafted in order to prohibit this type of practice in what came to be known as the Stark Law. However, several exceptions were put in place for “in-house” services. Among these included X-ray imaging and physical therapy services.

 

PICO Question:  In patients being referred to outpatient physical therapy treatment, are services utilized at a higher rate if the referring physician has a financial interest in the facility compared to a physician referring to an independently owned facility?

 

Search Strategy: Pubmed, CINAHL, and Web of Science were searched with terms “Physical therapy” AND “Physician owned practice” OR “POPs.” Abstracts were screened for inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Inclusion Criteria:

-Patients referred by a physician  to outpatient physical therapy

-Patients receiving care in the United States

-Comparison of physician owned facilities to independently owned facilities used some metric of utilization of care including total cost, frequency of referral, total number of visits per patient,  or relative value units.

Exclusion Criteria:

-Articles published prior to 1990

picture1

 

Results:

picture2

Clinical Bottom Line:

-Consistent level 3 evidence that physician ownership of physical therapy clinics results in a higher percent of patients under that physician’s care being referred for PT.

-Consistent level 3 evidence that PT clinics with physician ownership result in increased visits per patient.

-Fairly consistent level 3 evidence that physician ownership of PT clinics results in increased cost to the healthcare system, but may bill less services per patient episode.

-Some level 3 evidence that services billed by physician owned clinics may consist of less one-on-one care with licensed physical therapists as measured in RVUs.

 

Limitations:

The articles published within this CAT have several large limitations which reduces the ability to generalize the data to the entire healthcare system.

  1.  4 out of 5 studies published by the same author
  2. Each study only looked at claims from one state
  3. Data from only 3 states were included among the 5 articles
  4. Only one insurance provider was looked at per article
  5.  3 of the 5 studies contained data that is not current
  6. Outcome measures were not tracked in any of the articles
  7. Statistical analysis was not performed.

Application and Significance of Research:

The articles revealed more total expenditures and higher cost to the healthcare system for rehabilitation services when a referring physician had a financial interest in a physical therapy clinic. As a profession, we can use this data to push for legislation that prohibits or limits physician self referrals, which would both control healthcare spending and give physical therapists more autonomy within our profession.

Acknowledgements:

Heidi Ojha, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT; DPT Class of 2017.

 

References:

Mitchell, J. M. (1992). Physician Ownership of Physical Therapy Services. Jama, 268(15), 2055. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490150107033
Mitchell, J. M., & Sass, T. R. (1995). Physician ownership of ancillary services: Indirect demand inducement or quality assurance? Journal of Health Economics,14(3), 263-289. doi:10.1016/0167-6296(95)00003-z
Mitchell, J. M., Reschovsky, J. D., Franzini, L., & Reicherter, E. A. (2015). Physician Self-Referral of Physical Therapy Services for Patients with Low Back Pain: Implications for Use, Types of Treatments Received and Expenditures. Forum for Health Economics and Policy,0(0). doi:10.1515/fhep-2015-0026
Mitchell, J. M., Reschovsky, J. D., & Reicherter, E. A. (2016). Use of Physical Therapy Following Total Knee Replacement Surgery: Implications of Orthopedic Surgeons’ Ownership of Physical Therapy Services. Health Services Research,51(5), 1838-1857. doi:10.1111/1475-6773.12465
Swedlow, A., Johnson, G., Smithline, N., & Milstein, A. (1992). Increased Costs and Rates of Use in the California Workers’ Compensation System as a Result of Self-Referral by Physicians. New England Journal of Medicine, 327(21), 1502-1506. doi:10.1056/nejm199211193272107

 

 

Background:

  • Neck pain is the third most commonly reported type of pain
  • There is a higher prevalence in women than men
  • Chronic neck pain often leads to impaired movement coordination, endurance, and strength

 

Clinical Case and PICO:

  • 59 y.o. retired female seamstress with insidious onset of neck pain that has lasted over 5 yrs.
  • Current pain level of 4/10 and 8/10 at worst on NPRS| NDI: 30%
  • Denies any numbness, tingling, and headaches
  • Relief with lying down and NSAIDs
  • Family physician advised that general exercise would ↓ pain
  • Primary Impairments: ↓neck ROM (flexion, b/l rotation), ↓ endurance (per CCFT)
  • Functional Limitations: reading, crossing the street, care-taking grandson

PICO: For individuals with chronic neck pain, is general exercise as effective for reducing pain and improving function as specific exercise targeting deep neck flexors?

 

picture2

Figure 1: Deep Cervical Flexors – Longus Capitis and Longus Colli

 

Search Strategy:

  • 59 articles identified
  • via PubMed, CINAHL, and PEDro
  • 9 duplicates removed
  • 50 articles screened
  • 42 articles not relevant
  • 8 full-text articles screened
  • 3 articles excluded
  • 5 articles included

 

Key Results:

Author, Date, Country Patient Population Study Type, Evidence Outcomes Key Results
O’Leary, 2011, Australia N = 60

Pain > 6 mos., score btw. 10/50 – 15/50 on NDI

RCT

Level II

Pain (VAS)

Disability (NDI)

Specific exercises targeting endurance, strength, coordination, and ROM improved these respective motor performances with minor carry-over in performance in other motor domains.

Pain: Meaningful from baseline to 10 wks. for coordination group (↓19.2 mm)

Disability: All groups had similar reductions in disability

Ludvigsson, 2015, Sweden N = 216

Pain > 6 mos., > 10/50 on NDI,  > 20/100mm on VAS, post-WAD.

RCT

Level II

Pain (VAS)

Disability (NDI)

Neck-specific group resulted in better outcomes in pain and disability than general exercise group.

Pain: Significant ↓ over time in all three groups

Disability: Significant ↓ from baseline to 6 mos. for neck-specific group.

No improvement for general exercise.

Izquierdo, 2015, Spain N = 28

Pain > 3 mos., < 15/50 on NDI

RCT

Level II

Pain (VAS)

Disability (NDI)

Both CCF and proprioceptive groups  improved in pain and disability as well as positive outcomes for deep neck flexor neuromuscular control.

Pain: Meaningful for current pain from baseline to post 2 mos. (↓3.45mm in CCF and ↓4.00mm in proprioception). Resulted in no current pain.

Disability: Significant from baseline to post 2 mos. (↓3.25pts. for CCF and ↓3.28pts. for proprioception)

Borisut 2013, Thailand N = 100

Pain > 6 mos., > 30/100 mm on VAS

Clinical Trial

Level III

Pain (VAS)

Disability (NDI)

Pain and disability improved for strength-endurance, CCF, and combined group.

Pain: Meaningful from baseline to 12 wks. in combined group (↓44.6mm)

Disability: Meaningful from baseline to 12 wks. in strength-endurance (↓13.51pts.), CCF (↓15.55pts.), combo (↓13.52pts.)

 

Kim, 2016, South Korea N = 28

Pain > 3 mos., NDI < 15 pts.

Clinical Trial

Level III

Pain (NPRS)

Disability (NDI)

DCF group had better outcomes in pain and disability than general exercise group.

Pain: Meaningful at 8 wks. for DCF (↓3.5pts.)

Disability: Significant at 8 wks. for DCF (↓3.8 pts.)

Legend: CCF = craniocervical flexion  | VAS = Visual Analog Scale | CCFT = craniocervical flexion test

DCF = deep cervical flexor  | NDI = Neck Disability Index | NPRS = Numeric Pain Rating Scale

 

Clinical Bottom Line:

Upon review of moderate level evidence comparing general exercise to deep neck flexor exercise in treating chronic neck pain, general exercise is not as effective as deep neck flexor exercise but more specifically, the evidence suggests that any neck-specific exercise can improve pain and disability.

 

Limitations:

  • No long-term follow-up past 6 months
  • Only studied patients with mild neck pain and disability
  • Subjects and therapists were not blinded
  • Impairments were not targeted for patient interventions

 

Application:

As with most conditions, it is imperative to identify the key impairments related to the individual and to prescribe exercises that target that impairment.  The specific neck exercise that targets the impairment will address the impairment and also improve pain and disability.

Plan of Care –

Patient Education:

– Ergonomic modifications

– Discuss chronic pain

– Reassurance

Manual Therapy:

– Cervical Traction

– Atlantoaxial Joint Mobilization

Therapeutic Exercise:

– Endurance – CCF

– Mobility – cervical rotation and flexion

picture1

Figure 2: Craniocervical Flexion Exercise using objective measurement

 

Acknowledgements:

Bill Egan, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT & Temple DPT Class of 2017

 

References:

1. O’Leary S, Jull G, Kim M, Uthaikhup S, Vicenzino B. Training mode-dependent changes in motor performance in neck pain. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012;93(7):1225-1233. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.02.018 [doi].

2. Ludvigsson ML, Peterson G, O’Leary S, Dedering A, Peolsson A. The effect of neck-specific exercise with, or without a behavioral approach, on pain, disability, and self-efficacy in chronic whiplash-associated disorders: A randomized clinical trial. Clin J Pain. 2015;31(4):294-303. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000123 [doi].

3. Gallego Izquierdo T, Pecos-Martin D, Lluch Girbés E, et al. Comparison of cranio-cervical flexion training versus cervical proprioception training in patients with chronic neck pain: A randomized controlled clinical trial. J REHABIL MED (16501977). 2016;48(1):48-55. http://libproxy.temple.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cin20&AN=112739640&site=ehost-live&scope=site. doi: 10.2340/16501977-2034.

4. Borisut S, Vongsirinavarat M, Vachalathiti R, Sakulsriprasert P. Effects of strength and endurance training of superficial and deep neck muscles on muscle activities and pain levels of females with chronic neck pain. J PHYS THER SCI. 2013;25(9):1157-1162. http://libproxy.temple.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cin20&AN=104154602&site=ehost-live&scope=site. doi: 10.1589/jpts.25.1157.

5. Kim JY, Kwag KI. Clinical effects of deep cervical flexor muscle activation in patients with chronic neck pain. J Phys Ther Sci. 2016;28(1):269-273. doi: 10.1589/jpts.28.269 [doi].

 

Contact Information:

georgechau@gmail.com