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.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND CONTEXT: No clinical trial of spinal manipulation for chronic neck pain (NP), for either single or multiple intervention session(s), has used an effective manual sham-manipulation control group. PURPOSE: Validate a practical sham cervical high-velocity low-amplitude spinal manipulation. STUDY DESIGN/SETTING: Randomized experimental validation study in an institutional clinical research laboratory. PATIENT SAMPLE: Eligible subjects were males and females, 18 to 60 years of age with mechanical NP (as defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain Classification) of at least 3 months' duration. Subjects with arm pain, any pathologic cause of NP, or any contraindication to spinal manipulation were excluded. OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was the patient's self-report or registration of group allocation after treatment. Secondary outcomes were numerical rating scale-101 for NP, range of motion (ROM; by goniometer), and tenderness (by pressure algometry). METHODS: Eligible subjects were randomly allocated to one of two groups: real cervical manipulation (RM) or sham cervical manipulation (SM). All subjects were given two procedures in sequence, either RM+SM or SM+SM. Immediately after the two procedures, subjects were asked to register any pain experienced during the procedures and to identify their treatment group allocation. Force-time profiles were recorded during all procedures. Secondary clinical outcome measures were obtained at baseline, 5 and 15 minutes after the intervention, including ROM, self-report of pain, and local spinous process tenderness. Data for each variable were summarized and tested for normality in distribution. Summary statistics were obtained for each variable and statistically tested. RESULTS: Sixty-seven subjects were randomized. Data from 64 subjects (32 per group) were available for analysis. There were no significant differences between the groups at baseline. One adverse event occurred in the "real" group, which was a mild posttreatment pain reaction lasting less than 24 hours. In the RM group, 50% of subjects incorrectly registered their treatment allocation; in the sham group, 53% did so. For the SM group, none of the procedures resulted in cavitation, whereas in the RM group, 87% of procedures resulted in cavitation. There were no significant changes between groups on pain, tenderness, or ROM. Force-time profiles of the RM and SM procedures demonstrated fidelity with significant differences between components as intended. CONCLUSIONS: The novel sham procedure has been shown to be effective in masking subjects to group allocation and to be clinically inert with respect to common outcomes in the immediate posttreatment stage. Further research on serial applications and for multiple operators is warranted.
    The spine journal: official journal of the North American Spine Society 11/2012; 12(11). DOI:10.1016/j.spinee.2012.10.009 · 2.80 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To conduct an overview (review-of-reviews) on pharmacological interventions for neck pain. Computerized databases and grey literature were searched from 2006 to 2012. Systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials (RCT) in adults with acute to chronic neck pain reporting effects of pharmacological interventions including injections on pain, function/disability, global perceived effect, quality of life and patient satisfaction. Two independent authors selected articles, assessed risk of bias and extracted data The GRADE tool was used to evaluate the body of evidence and an external panel provided critical review. We found 26 reviews reporting on 47 RCTs. Most pharmacological interventions had low to very low quality methodologic evidence with three exceptions. For chronic neck pain, there was evidence of: a small immediate benefit for eperison hydrochloride (moderate GRADE, 1 trial, 157 participants);no short-term pain relieving benefit for botulinum toxin-A compared to saline (strong GRADE; 5 trial meta-analysis, 258 participants) nor for subacute/chronic whiplash (moderate GRADE; 4 trial meta-analysis, 183 participants) including reduced pain, disability or global perceived effect; andno long-term benefit for medial branch block of facet joints with steroids (moderate GRADE; 1 trial, 120 participants) over placebo to reduce pain or disability; While in general there is a lack of evidence for most pharmacological interventions, current evidence is against botulinum toxin-A for chronic neck pain or subacute/chronic whiplash; against medial branch block with steroids for chronic facet joint pain; but in favour of the muscle relaxant eperison hydrochloride for chronic neck pain.
    The Open Orthopaedics Journal 01/2013; 7:473-93. DOI:10.2174/1874325001307010473
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Chronic mechanical neck pain (MNP) is a very common condition, that may occur in general population. There is a lack of evidence for most therapies except for exercise therapy with combining methods, whose effectiveness is still moderate. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a novel neck balance system-Dal Monte 2(NBS-DM2) incorporated into a special cap on pain in sufferers of MNP after treatment and at three months follow-up. Design: Prospective randomized controlled trial. Setting: Outpatient clinic of the University of Rome "Foro Italico". Population: Forty-five volunteers of both sexes affected by grade II MNP were enrolled. Methods: NBS-DM2/RW (regular weight), NBS-DM2/NW (negligible weight) and Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMF) have been used for 8 weeks. Neck Disability Index (NDI), Neck Pain and Disability Scale (NDPS) questionnaires and Visual Analogic Scale (VAS) score were evaluated before, after the treatment period and 3 months after the end of treatment. Results: NBS-DM2/RW compared with NBS-DM2/NW and PEMF group performed better in the reduction of the three measures at the end and at short term run (p ≤0.05). Conclusion and clinical rehabilitation impact: When applied to grade II MNP patients, NBS-DM2/RW leads to pain relief and reduction of disability. These effects persist over a short term follow-up period. PEMF therapy was found to have no significant effect on reduction of pain and disability in this study.
    European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine 03/2013; · 1.95 Impact Factor