Project

Journal of Clinical Medicine: Special Issue "Spine Rehabilitation in 2022 and Beyond"

Goal: Recent randomized controlled trials using spine extension traction methods in conjunction with various conventional physiotherapeutic methods have demonstrated that patients with cervical, thoracic, and lumbo-pelvic sagittal plane abnormality-induced symptoms achieve greater long-term health outcomes versus patients who only receive conventional treatments that do not improve spinal alignment. In fact, although all patient groups showed initial symptomatic relief, the groups not receiving spine extension traction methods to improve sagittal plane alignment do not typically show structural improvements in their spine. Furthermore, the conventional treatment (non-spine corrective) only groups had regression of their symptoms back to pre-study values as early as 3 months following the cessation of treatment. In contrast, patient groups receiving the spine extension traction to improve physiologic lordosis, reduce hyper-kyphosis, and reduce anterior head translation posture maintained their structural realignments, maintained symptomatic improvements, and also had a number of positive health measures continue to improve after the cessation of treatments for up to 2 years.

Today there are reliable and predictable means through application of structural rehabilitation of the spine and posture as part of comprehensive rehabilitation programs to restore the natural curvatures of the spine. Evidence points to spine corrective methods offering superior long-term outcomes for treating patients with various craniocervical and lumbosacral disorders (not limited to scoliosis).

The economic impact, health benefits, and generalized awareness of these newer sagittal spine rehabilitation treatments demands continued attention from clinicians and researchers alike and this is the purpose of this collection of publications.

Date: 1 September 2022 - 30 December 2022

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Deed Eric Harrison
added a research item
Forward head posture (FHP) is a common postural displacement that is significantly associated with neck pain, with higher risks of having neck pain in female and older populations. This study investigated the effect of two different forward head posture (FHP) interventions in elderly participants with poor posture and non-specific neck pain. Sixty-six elderly participants with a craniovertebral angle (CVA) < 50° were randomized into either a Chiropractic Biophyics® (CBP®) or a standardized exercise based FHP correction group (Standard Group). Both groups were treated for 18 sessions over a 6-week period. A 3-month post-treatment follow-up was also assessed with no further interventions. The CBP group received a mirror image® exercise and a Denneroll™ cervical traction orthotic (DCTO); the standard group performed a protocol of commonly used stretching and strengthening exercises for the neck. Both groups received 30 min of their respective interventions per session. The primary outcome was the CVA, with secondary outcomes including pain intensity, Berg balance score (BBS), head repositioning accuracy (HRA), and cervical range of motion (CROM). After 18 sessions (6 weeks later), the CBP group had statistically significant improvement in the CVA (p < 0.001), whereas the standard group did not. In contrast, both groups showed improved functional measurements on the BBS and HRA as well as improved pain intensity. However, at the 3-month follow-up (with no further treatment), there were statistically significant differences favoring the CBP group for all outcomes (p < 0.001). The differences in the between group outcomes at the 3-month follow-up indicated that the improved outcomes were maintained in the CBP group, while the standard group experienced regression of the initially improved outcomes at 6 weeks. It is suggested that the improvement in the postural CVA (in the CBP group but not in the standard group) is the driver of superior and maintained pain and functional outcomes.
Deed Eric Harrison
added a research item
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a common condition lacking strong diagnostic criteria; these criteria continue to evolve as more and more studies are performed to explore it. This investigation sought to identify whether participants with FMS have more frequent and larger postural/spinal displacements in comparison to a matched control group without the condition of FMS. A total of 67 adults (55 females) out of 380 participants with FMS were recruited. Participants with FMS were sex- and age-matched with 67 asymptomatic participants (controls) without FMS. We used a three-dimensional (3D) postural assessment device (Formetric system) to analyze five posture variables in each participant in both groups: (1) thoracic kyphotic angle, (2) trunk imbalance, (3) trunk inclination, (4) lumbar lordotic angle, and (5) vertebral rotation. In order to determine whether 3D postural measures could predict the likelihood of a participant having FMS, we applied the matched-pairs binary logistic regression analysis. The 3D posture measures identified statistically and clinically significant differences between the FMS and control groups for each of the five posture variables measured (p < 0.001). For three out of five posture measurements assessed, the binary logistic regression identified there was an increased probability of having FMS with an increased: (1) thoracic kyphotic angle proportional odds ratio [Prop OR] = 1.76 (95% CI = 1.03, 3.02); (2) sagittal imbalance Prop OR = 1.54 (95% CI = 0.973, 2.459); and (3) surface rotation Prop OR = 7.9 (95% CI = 1.494, 41.97). We identified no significant probability of having FMS for the following two postural measurements: (1) coronal balance (p = 0.50) and (2) lumbar lordotic angle (p = 0.10). Our study’s findings suggest there is a strong relationship between 3D spinal misalignment and the diagnosis of FMS. In fact, our results support that thoracic kyphotic angle, sagittal imbalance, and surface rotation are predictors of having FMS.
Deed Eric Harrison
added a research item
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility and effect of a multimodal pro-gram for the management of chronic nonspecific neck pain CNSNP with the addition of a 3D adjustable posture corrective orthotic (PCO), with a focus on patient recruitment and retention. This report describes a prospective, randomized controlled pilot study with twenty-four participants with CNSNP and definite 3D postural deviations who were randomly assigned to control and study groups. Both groups received the same multimodal program; additionally, the study group received a 3D PCO to perform mirror image® therapy for 20–30 min while the patient was walking on a treadmill 2–3 times per week for 10 weeks. Primary outcomes included feasibility, recruitment, adherence, safety, and sample size calculation. Secondary outcomes included neck pain intensity by numeric pain rating scale (NPRS), neck disability index (NDI), active cervical ROM, and 3D posture parameters of the head in relation to the thoracic region. Measures were assessed at baseline and after 10 weeks of intervention. Overall, 54 participants were screened for eligibility, and 24 (100%) were enrolled for study participation. Three participants (12.5%) were lost to reassessment before finishing 10 weeks of treatment. The between-group mean differences in change scores indicated greater improvements in the study group receiving the new PCO intervention. Using an effect size of 0.797, α > 0.05, β = 80% between-group improvements for NDI identified that 42 participants were required for a full-scale RCT. This pilot study demonstrated the feasibility of recruitment, compliance, and safety for the treatment of CNSNP using a 3D PCO to a multimodal program to positively affect CNSNP management. Keywords: neck pain; orthotic; mirror image® therapy; reverse posture training
Deed Eric Harrison
added 3 research items
A randomized controlled study with a six-month follow-up was conducted to investigate the effects of sagittal head posture correction on 3D spinal posture parameters, back and leg pain, disability, and S1 nerve root function in patients with chronic discogenic lumbosacral radiculopathy (CDLR). Participants included 80 (35 female) patients between 40 and 55 years experiencing CDLR with a definite hypolordotic cervical spine and forward head posture (FHP) and were randomly assigned a comparative treatment control group and a study group. Both groups received TENS therapy and hot packs, additionally, the study group received the Denneroll cervical traction orthotic. Interventions were applied at a frequency of 3 x per week for 10 weeks and groups were followed for an additional 6-months. Radiographic measures included cervical lordosis (CL) from C2–C7 and FHP; postural measurements included: lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, trunk inclination, lateral deviation, trunk imbalance, surface rotation, and pelvic inclination. Leg and back pain scores, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and H-reflex latency and amplitude were measured. Statistically significant differences between the groups at 10 weeks were found: for all postural measures, CL (p = 0.001), AHT (p = 0.002), H-reflex amplitude (p = 0.007) and latency (p = 0.001). No significant difference for back pain (p = 0.2), leg pain (p = 0.1) and ODI (p = 0.6) at 10 weeks were identified. Only the study group’s improvements were maintained at the 6-month follow up while the control groups values regressed back to baseline. At the 6-month follow-up, it was identified in the study group that improved cervical lordosis and reduction of FHP were found to have a positive impact on 3D posture parameters, leg and back pain scores, ODI, and H-reflex latency and amplitude.
This study investigates thoracic hyper kyphosis (THK) rehabilitation using the Denneroll™ thoracic traction orthosis (DTTO). Eighty participants, with chronic non-specific neck pain (CNSNP) and THK were randomly assigned to the control or intervention group (IG). Both groups received the multimodal program; IG received the DTTO. Outcomes included formetric thoracic kyphotic angle ICT—ITL, neck pain and disability (NDI), head repositioning accuracy (HRA), smooth pursuit neck torsion test (SPNT) and overall stability index (OSI). Measures were assessed at baseline, after 30 treatment sessions over the course of 10 weeks, and 1-year after cessation of treatment. After 10 weeks, the IG improved more in neck pain intensity (p < 0.0001) and NDI (p < 0.001). No differences were found for SPNT (p = 0.48) and left-sided HRA (p = 0.3). IG improved greater for OSI (p = 0.047) and right sided HRA (p = 0.02). Only the IG improved in THK (p < 0.001). At 1-year follow-up, a regression back to baseline values for the control group was found for pain and disability such that all outcomes favored improvement in the IG receiving the DTTO; all outcomes (p < 0.001). The addition of the DTTO to a multimodal program positively affected CNSNP outcomes at both the short and 1-year follow-up.
Sagittal cervical alignment is a clinically related feature in patients suffering from chronic cervical spondylotic radiculopathy (CSR). We designed this randomized trial to explore the effects of cervical lordosis (CL) correction in thirty chronic lower CSR patients with CL < 20°. Patients were assigned randomly into two equal groups, study (SG) and control (CG). Both groups received neck stretching and exercises and infrared radiation; additionally, the SG received cervical extension traction. Treatments were applied 3× per week for 10 weeks after which groups were followed for 3 months and 2 years. The amplitude of dermatomal somatosensory evoked potentials (DSSEPS), CL C2–C7, and pain scales (NRS) were measured. The SG had an increase in CL post-treatment (p < 0.0001), this was maintained at 3 months and 2 years. No statistical improvement in CL was found for the CG. A significant reduction in NRS for SG after 10 weeks of treatment with non-significant loss of change at 3 months and continued improvement at 2 years was found. CG had less significant improvement in post-treatment NRS; the 3-month and 2-year measures revealed significant worsening in NRS. An inverse linear correlation between increased CL and NRS was found (r = −0.49; p = 0.005) for both groups initially and maintained in SG at the final 2-year follow-up (r = −0.6; p = 0.01). At 10 weeks, we found significant improvements in DSSEPS for both groups (p < 0.0001). We identified a linear correlation between initial DSSEPs and CL for both groups (p < 0.0001), maintained only in the SG at the final follow-up for all levels (p < 0.0001). Improved CL in the SG correlated with significant improvements in nerve root function and pain rating in patients with CSR at short and long-term follow-up. These observed effects indicate that clinicians involved in the treatment of patients with symptoms of cervical degenerative disorders should add sagittal curve correction to their armamentarium of rehabilitation procedures for relevant patient populations.
Deed Eric Harrison
added a project goal
Recent randomized controlled trials using spine extension traction methods in conjunction with various conventional physiotherapeutic methods have demonstrated that patients with cervical, thoracic, and lumbo-pelvic sagittal plane abnormality-induced symptoms achieve greater long-term health outcomes versus patients who only receive conventional treatments that do not improve spinal alignment. In fact, although all patient groups showed initial symptomatic relief, the groups not receiving spine extension traction methods to improve sagittal plane alignment do not typically show structural improvements in their spine. Furthermore, the conventional treatment (non-spine corrective) only groups had regression of their symptoms back to pre-study values as early as 3 months following the cessation of treatment. In contrast, patient groups receiving the spine extension traction to improve physiologic lordosis, reduce hyper-kyphosis, and reduce anterior head translation posture maintained their structural realignments, maintained symptomatic improvements, and also had a number of positive health measures continue to improve after the cessation of treatments for up to 2 years.
Today there are reliable and predictable means through application of structural rehabilitation of the spine and posture as part of comprehensive rehabilitation programs to restore the natural curvatures of the spine. Evidence points to spine corrective methods offering superior long-term outcomes for treating patients with various craniocervical and lumbosacral disorders (not limited to scoliosis).
The economic impact, health benefits, and generalized awareness of these newer sagittal spine rehabilitation treatments demands continued attention from clinicians and researchers alike and this is the purpose of this collection of publications.