October Research Update

ANJC October Research Update

By Dr. David Graber


Low Back Surgery is Not Better

Surgical treatment provided faster relief from back pain symptoms in patients with lumbar disc herniation after six weeks,  but did not show a benefit over conservative treatment after three months:

Most Common Covid-19 Symptoms

A new study found seven symptoms that were jointly predictive of PCR positivity and appeared to vary only marginally across age groups. The top two are loss or change of sense of smell and loss or change of sense of taste. Following that: fever, new persistent cough, chills, appetite loss, and muscle aches:

Neurological Effects of Thoracic SMT

In people with Achilles tendinopathy, thoracic spinal manipulation resulted in immediate increase in the total oxygenation index in the calf muscle followed by an increase in the T/C ratio six hours post-intervention:

Thoracic Spinal Manipulation Improves Pain and Function
in Individuals With Shoulder Pain

A study just published in the journal Clinical Biomechanics demonstrated improved pain and function in individuals with shoulder pain after thoracic spinal manipulation (SM).  From the article:

“Thoracic SM induced immediate widespread increase in shoulder muscle activity irrespective of arm velocity, suggesting an increase in neuromuscular drive following treatment.  Immediate increase in muscle activity of the serratus anterior, a key muscle in scapular motion, was related to clinical improvement of shoulder symptoms and function following treatment.  These findings support the use of thoracic SM as a therapy to immediately induce increased muscle activity even for body regions distal to the site of manipulation.”

Key points:

• Shoulder muscle activity is a key deficit in those individuals with shoulder pain.
• Spinal manipulation increased shoulder muscle activity in patients with shoulder pain.
• Shoulder muscle activity was related to improved shoulder pain and function.
• Neuromuscular drive mechanism may optimize the use of manipulation.
Click HERE for full article.


Physical Activity for Patients with Chronic Back Pain

What exercises and physical activity are best for patients with chronic back pain?  A recent study published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science set out to find out. In the article, “Physical activity and chronic back conditions: A population-based pooled study of 60,134 adults,” the study found the following:

  • Total physical activity is inversely associated with chronic back conditions.
  • At least 300 minutes/week of moderate-intensity or 30 minutes/week of vigorous-intensity activities are associated with a low odds of having chronic back conditions.
  • Medium domestic activity, football/rugby, or running/jogging are inversely associated with chronic back conditions.
  • High-level manual domestic activity is associated with higher odds of having chronic back conditions.
  • High-level sport/exercise is associated with a low odds of having chronic back conditions, and low-level sport/exercise is associated with high odds of having chronic back conditions.

Click Here to read more.


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