Manual therapy for neck pain: an overview of randomized clinical trials and systematic reviews.

Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Europa medicophysica 04/2007; 43(1):91-118.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Manual therapy for neck pain enjoys a long history, with increasing popularity in recent times. The evidence base for manual therapies for neck pain consists of a reasonably large body of clinical trials, an even greater number of systematic reviews and, more recently, a number of practice guidelines. We have conducted several systematic reviews pertaining to the evidence base for both acute and chronic neck pain as well as for the outcome of control groups of chronic neck pain subjects in clinical trials of conservative therapies. In this review, we first provide background material on the definition and characterization of manual therapies as well as on the epidemiology of neck pain. We then review our recent systematic reviews on manual therapies for acute and chronic neck pain without whiplash. Finally, we provide brief, original reviews of, first, the literature on the treatment of whiplash injury by manual therapies followed by the current practice guidelines pertaining to manual therapies for neck pain. While there are several publications, especially those registered with the Cochrane Collaboration, that are currently the authoritative evaluations of the use of manual therapies for neck pain, the present review is designed to present a broad overview of the topic with a distinctive approach emphasizing the analysis of change scores in the clinical trials. It is hoped that this will benefit researchers and clinicians alike in their management of neck pain patients.

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    ABSTRACT: Participants in clinical trials of spinal manipulation have not been rigorously blinded to group assignment. This study reports on secondary analyses of the retention of participant blinding beyond the immediate posttreatment time frame following a single-session, randomized clinical study. A novel control cervical manipulation procedure that has previously been shown to be therapeutically inert was contrasted with a typical manipulation procedure. A randomized clinical study of a single session of typical vs sham-control manipulation in patients with chronic neck pain was conducted. Findings of self-reported group registration at 24 to 48 hours posttreatment were computed. The Blinding Index (BI) of Bang et al was then applied to both the immediate and post-24- to 48-hour results. Twenty-four to 48 hours after treatment, 94% and 22% of participants in the typical and control groups, respectively, correctly identified their group assignment. When analyzed with the BI of Bang et al, the immediate posttreatment BI for the group receiving a typical manipulation was 0.22 (95% confidence interval [CI], -0.03 to 0.47); for the group receiving a control manipulation, it was 0.19 (95% CI, -0.06 to 0.43). The BI at post-24 hours was as follows: typical = 0.75 (95% CI, 0.59-0.91) and control = -0.34 (95% CI, -0.58 to -0.11). This study found that the novel sham-control cervical manipulation procedure may be effective in blinding sham group allocation up to 48 hours posttreatment. It appears that, at 48 hours posttreatment, the modified form of the typical cervical manipulation was not. The sham-control procedure appears to be a promising procedure for future clinical trials.
    Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics 09/2013; · 1.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical practice guidelines on the management of neck pain make recommendations to help practitioners optimize patient care. By examining the practice patterns of practitioners, adherence to CPGs or lack thereof, is demonstrated. Understanding utilization of various treatments by practitioners and comparing these patterns to that of recommended guidelines is important to identify gaps for knowledge translation and improve treatment regimens.Aim: To describe the utilization of interventions in patients with neck pain by clinicians. A cross-sectional international survey was conducted from February 2012 to March 2013 to determine physical medicine, complementary and alternative medicine utilization amongst 360 clinicians treating patients with neck pain. The survey was international (19 countries) with Canada having the largest response (38%). Results were analyzed by usage amongst physical therapists (38%) and chiropractors (31%) as they were the predominant respondents. Within these professions, respondents were male (41-66%) working in private practice (69-95%). Exercise and manual therapies were consistently (98-99%) used by both professions but tests of subgroup differences determined that physical therapists used exercise, orthoses and 'other' interventions more, while chiropractors used phototherapeutics more. However, phototherapeutics (65%), Orthoses/supportive devices (57%), mechanical traction (55%) and sonic therapies (54%) were not used by the majority of respondents. Thermal applications (73%) and acupuncture (46%) were the modalities used most commonly. Analysis of differences across the subtypes of neck pain indicated that respondents utilize treatments more often for chronic neck pain and whiplash conditions, followed by radiculopathy, acute neck pain and whiplash conditions, and facet joint dysfunction by diagnostic block. The higher rates of usage of some interventions were consistent with supporting evidence (e.g. manual therapy). However, there was moderate usage of a number of interventions that have limited support or conflicting evidence (e.g. ergonomics). This survey indicates that exercise and manual therapy are core treatments provided by chiropractors and physical therapists. Future research should address gaps in evidence associated with variable practice patterns and knowledge translation to reduce usage of some interventions that have been shown to be ineffective.
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