The latest medical research on Chiropractor

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Manual therapy versus advice to stay active for nonspecific back and/or neck pain: a cost-effectiveness analysis.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

Low back and neck pain are the most common musculoskeletal disorders worldwide, and imply suffering and substantial societal costs, hence effective interventions are crucial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of manual therapy compared with advice to stay active for working age persons with nonspecific back and/or neck pain.

The two interventions were: a maximum of 6 manual therapy sessions within 6 weeks, including spinal manipulation/mobilization, massage and stretching, performed by a naprapath (index group), respectively information from a physician on the importance to stay active and on how to cope with pain, according to evidence-based advice, at 2 occasions within 3 weeks (control group). A cost-effectiveness analysis with a societal perspective was performed alongside a randomized controlled trial including 409 persons followed for one year, in 2005. The outcomes were health-related Quality of Life (QoL) encoded from the SF-36 and pain intensity. Direct and indirect costs were calculated based on intervention and medication costs and sickness absence data. An incremental cost per health related QoL was calculated, and sensitivity analyses were performed.

The difference in QoL gains was 0.007 (95% CI - 0.010 to 0.023) and the mean improvement in pain intensity was 0.6 (95% CI 0.068-1.065) in favor of manual therapy after one year. Concerning the QoL outcome, the differences in mean cost per person was estimated at - 437 EUR (95% CI - 1302 to 371) and for the pain outcome the difference was - 635 EUR (95% CI - 1587 to 246) in favor of manual therapy. The results indicate that manual therapy achieves better outcomes at lower costs compared with advice to stay active. The sensitivity analyses were consistent with the main results.

Our results indicate that manual therapy for nonspecific back and/or neck pain is slightly less costly and more beneficial than advice to stay active for this sample of working age persons. Since manual therapy treatment is at least as cost-effective as evidence-based advice from a physician, it may be recommended for neck and low back pain. Further health economic studies that may confirm those findings are warranted. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN56954776. Retrospectively registered 12 September 2006, http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN56954776 .

Systematic review of guideline-recommended medications prescribed for treatment of low back pain.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

To identify and descriptively compare medication recommendations among low back pain (LBP) clinical practice guidelines (CPG).

We searched PubMed, Cochrane Database of Systematic Review, Index to Chiropractic Literature, AMED, CINAHL, and PEDro to identify CPGs that described the management of mechanical LBP in the prior five years. Two investigators independently screened titles and abstracts and potentially relevant full text were considered for eligibility. Four investigators independently applied the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) II instrument for critical appraisal. Data were extracted for pharmaceutical intervention, the strength of recommendation, and appropriateness for the duration of LBP.

316 citations were identified, 50 full-text articles were assessed, and nine guidelines with global representation met the eligibility criteria. These CPGs addressed pharmacological treatments with or without non-pharmacological treatments. All CPGS focused on the management of acute, chronic, or unspecified duration of LBP. The mean overall AGREE II score was 89.3% (SD 3.5%). The lowest domain mean score was for applicability, 80.4% (SD 5.2%), and the highest was Scope and Purpose, 94.0% (SD 2.4%). There were ten classifications of medications described in the included CPGs: acetaminophen, antibiotics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids, oral corticosteroids, skeletal muscle relaxants (SMRs), and atypical opioids.

Nine CPGs, included ten medication classes for the management of LBP. NSAIDs were the most frequently recommended medication for the treatment of both acute and chronic LBP as a first line pharmacological therapy. Acetaminophen and SMRs were inconsistently recommended for acute LBP. Meanwhile, with less consensus among CPGs, acetaminophen and antidepressants were proposed as second-choice therapies for chronic LBP. There was significant heterogeneity of recommendations within many medication classes, although oral corticosteroids, benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, and antibiotics were not recommended by any CPGs for acute or chronic LBP.

Pressure pain thresholds in a real-world chiropractic setting: topography, changes after treatment, and clinical relevance?

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

Changes in pain sensitivity are a commonly suggested mechanism for the clinical effect of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). Most research has examined pressure pain thresholds (PPT) and has primarily been conducted in controlled experimental setups and on asymptomatic populations. Many important factors are likely to differ between research and clinical settings, which may affect PPT changes following SMT. Therefore, we planned to investigate PPT before and after clinical chiropractic care and investigate relationships with various potentially clinically-relevant factors.

We recruited participants from four Danish chiropractic clinics between May and August 2021. A total of 129 participants (72% of the invited) were included. We measured PPT at eight pre-determined test sites (six spinal and two extra-spinal) immediately before (pre-session) and immediately after (post-session) the chiropractic consultation. We used regression analyses to investigate PPT changes, including the following factors: (i) vertebral distance to the nearest SMT site, (ii) rapid clinical response, (iii) baseline PPT, (iv) number of SMTs performed, (v) at the region of clinical pain compared to other regions, and (vi) if other non-SMT treatment was provided. We also performed topographic mapping of pre-session PPTs.

After the consultation, there was a non-significant mean increase in PPT of 0.14 kg (95% CIs = - 0.01 to 0.29 kg). No significant associations were found with the distance between the PPT test site and nearest SMT site, the clinical response of participants to treatment, the pre-session PPT, the total number of SMTs performed, or the region/s of clinical pain. A small increase was observed if myofascial treatment was also provided. Topographic mapping found greater pre-session PPTs in a caudal direction, not affected by the region/s of clinical pain.

This study of real-world chiropractic patients failed to demonstrate a substantial local or generalized increase in PPT following a clinical encounter that included SMT. This runs counter to prior laboratory research and questions the generalizability of highly experimental setups investigating the effect of SMT on PPT to clinical practice.

Exploring factors influencing chiropractors' adherence to radiographic guidelines for low back pain using the Theoretical Domains Framework.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

The inappropriate use of lumbar spine imaging remains common in primary care despite recommendations from evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to avoid imaging in the absence of red flags. This study aimed to explore factors influencing ordering behaviours and adherence to radiographic guidelines for low back pain (LBP) in chiropractors in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Canada.

We conducted two focus groups in December 2018 with chiropractors in different regions of NL (eastern, n = 8; western, n = 4). An interview guide based on the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) served to identify perceived barriers to, and enablers of, target behaviours of guideline adherence and managing LBP without X-rays. We conducted thematic analysis of chiropractors' statements into relevant theoretical domains, followed by grouping of similar statements into specific beliefs. Domains key to changing radiographic guideline adherence, LBP imaging behaviours, and/or informing intervention design were identified by noting conflicting beliefs and their reported influence on the target behaviours.

Six of the 14 TDF domains were perceived to be important for adherence to radiographic guidelines and managing non-specific LBP without imaging. Participating chiropractors reported varying levels of knowledge and awareness of guidelines for LBP imaging (Knowledge). Many chiropractors based their decision for imaging on clinical presentation, but some relied on "gut feeling" (Memory, attention, and decision processes). While chiropractors thought it was their role to manage LBP without imaging, others believed ordering imaging was the responsibility of other healthcare providers (Social/professional role and identity). Contrasting views were found regarding the negative consequences of imaging or not imaging LBP patients (Beliefs about consequences). Communication was identified as a skill required to manage LBP without imaging (Skills) and a strategy to enable appropriate imaging ordering behaviours (Behavioural regulation). Chiropractors suggested that access to patients' previous imaging and a system that facilitated better interprofessional communication would likely improve their LBP imaging behaviours (Behavioural regulation).

We identified potential influences, in six theoretical domains, on participating chiropractors' LBP imaging behaviours and adherence to radiographic guidelines. These beliefs may be targets for theory-informed behaviour change interventions aimed at improving these target behaviours for chiropractors in NL.

Foot evaluation via telephone and video virtual medical visits.

Musculoskeletal care

Telemedicine plays a very important role in our society by allowing providers to treat patients who do not have easy access to a healthcare facility, especially in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We aimed to create an extensive, yet concise guide for medical providers to virtually evaluate patients with foot concerns.

This article outlines how to conduct a well-planned virtual consultation with specific questions, instructions, and examination manoeuvres to navigate musculoskeletal foot problems.

With this narrative review, we have provided a guide with suggestions, questions and interpretations of answers to help physicians new to the practice of telemedicine have successful virtual encounters with patients suffering from foot musculoskeletal ailments.

Disability burden due to musculoskeletal conditions and low back pain in Australia: findings from GBD 2019.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

To report the national prevalence, years lived with disability (YLDs) and attributable risk factors for all musculoskeletal conditions and separately for low back pain (LBP), as well as compare the disability burden related to musculoskeletal with other health conditions in Australia in 2019.

Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2019 study meta-data on all musculoskeletal conditions and LBP specifically were accessed and aggregated. Counts and age-standardised rates, for both sexes and across all ages, for prevalence, YLDs and attributable risk factors are reported.

In 2019, musculoskeletal conditions were estimated to be the leading cause of YLDs in Australia (20.1%). There were 7,219,894.5 (95% UI: 6,847,113-7,616,567) prevalent cases of musculoskeletal conditions and 685,363 (95% UI: 487,722-921,471) YLDs due to musculoskeletal conditions. There were 2,676,192 (95% UI: 2,339,327-3,061,066) prevalent cases of LBP and 298,624 (95% UI: 209,364-402,395) YLDs due to LBP. LBP was attributed to 44% of YLDs due to musculoskeletal conditions. In 2019, 22.3% and 39.8% of YLDs due to musculoskeletal conditions and LBP, respectively, were attributed to modifiable GBD risk factors.

The ongoing high burden due to musculoskeletal conditions impacts Australians across the life course, and in particular females and older Australians. Strategies for integrative and organisational interventions in the Australian healthcare system should support high-value care and address key modifiable risk factors for disability such as smoking, occupational ergonomic factors and obesity.

I expected to be pain free: a qualitative study exploring athletes' expectations and experiences of care received by sports chiropractors.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

Knowledge about patient satisfaction and experience with care they receive can guide practitioners in establishing doctor-patient relationships and improve health outcomes. Although evidence suggests high patient satisfaction with chiropractic care in general, there is limited understanding of the expectations and experiences of athletes receiving sports chiropractic care.

To explore the athletes' expectations and experiences with care received from sports chiropractors, and their perceptions of relevant areas of future research.

A qualitative study was conducted through an interpretivist lens exploring the perspectives of elite and competitive athletes receiving care from sports chiropractors in Canada. Participants were purposively recruited and interviewed until saturation was reached. Two research team members independently analyzed the interview transcripts using a conventional approach to content analysis. Content was inductively coded and discussed by the research team to generate categories.

We interviewed 18 participants between December 2018 and March 2020, 14 were national level athletes participating in sports ranging from paddling to combat sports. Reported reasons for seeking care included acute care, injury prevention, enhancing performance and maintenance care. Generated categories were organized under topics of experience with care, expectations of care, and research agenda. Participants experienced a variety of interventions, reassurance, varying treatment times, and reported positive impact on their athletic performance. They expected musculoskeletal assessment and treatment including at and beyond the injury site, symptom improvement, good communication and expertise from the chiropractor. Some participants suggested interpersonal and interprofessional communication can be improved, in particular the level of collaboration with other members of their health care team. Overall, participants reported a high level of trust and satisfaction with care received from sports chiropractors. From our participants' perspective, suggested areas of research should focus on injury mechanics and prevention, impact of care on performance, and interprofessional collaboration.

In general, participants were very satisfied with care. Overall, participants' expectations and experiences aligned but changed over time. Addressing the findings of this study can be used to enhance the quality of care provided to athletes from sports chiropractors, as well as inform future research agendas. Further work assessing if athletes in other competitive levels have similar experiences and expectations is needed.

Impact of contextual factors on patient outcomes following conservative low back pain treatment: systematic review.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

Chronic low back pain is pervasive, societally impactful, and current treatments only provide moderate relief. Exploring whether therapeutic elements, either unrecognised or perceived as implicit within clinical encounters, are acknowledged and deliberately targeted may improve treatment efficacy. Contextual factors (specifically, patient's and practitioner's beliefs/characteristics; patient-practitioner relationships; the therapeutic setting/environment; and treatment characteristics) could be important, but there is limited evidence regarding their influence. This research aims to review the impact of interventions modifying contextual factors during conservative care on patient's pain and physical functioning.

Four electronic databases (Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO and AMED) were searched from 2009 until 15th February 2022, using tailored search strategies, and resulted in 3476 unique citations. After initial screening, 170 full-text records were potentially eligible and assessed against the inclusion-exclusion criteria. Thereafter, studies were assessed for methodological quality using a modified Downs and Black scale, data extracted, and synthesised using a narrative approach.

Twenty-one primary studies (N = 3075 participants), were included in this review. Eight studies reported significant improvements in pain intensity, and seven in physical functioning, in favour of the contextual factor intervention(s). Notable contextual factors included: addressing maladaptive illness beliefs; verbal suggestions to influence symptom change expectations; visual or physical cues to suggest pain-relieving treatment properties; and positive communication such as empathy to enhance the therapeutic alliance.

This review identified influential contextual factors which may augment conservative chronic low back pain care. The heterogeneity of interventions suggests modifying more than one contextual factor may be more impactful on patients' clinical outcomes, although these findings require judicious interpretation.

The effectiveness of group and home-based exercise on psychological status in people with ankylosing spondylitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Musculoskeletal care

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an inflammatory rheumatic disease in which the physical impact has been evaluated; however, the psychological consequences are less well explored. The primary aim of this review was to determine the effectiveness of group versus home-based exercises on psychological status of patients with AS.

Six databases were searched until January 2020. Eligible studies were randomised controlled trials including group or home-based exercise interventions. Risk of bias (RoB) was evaluated using the Cochrane RoB 2.0 tool. Relative percentage difference (RPD) between groups and effect sizes were presented as standardised mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Five studies met the inclusion criteria (n = 240), outcomes of interest were depression, anxiety and mental health. Three studies were low-risk RoB, one study was high-risk RoB and one study there was 'some concerns' of bias. Group-based exercise was more effective than home-based exercise for improving depression at 6-week (RPD 18%) and 3-month (RPD 42%), anxiety (RPD 17%) and mental health (RPD 20%). Home-based exercise was more effective than control interventions for improving depression (RPD 33%). A meta-analysis demonstrated group-based exercises compared to home exercises, improved depression (SMD: -0.54; 95% CI: [-0.89; -0.18]; p = 0.003) and physical function (SMD: -0.49; 95% CI: [-0.84; -0.14]; p = 0.006).

Supervised group-based demonstrated improvements in depression, anxiety and mental health compared to home-based exercise. Individualised home-based exercise is more effective than no intervention for improving depression in people with AS.

Factors that influence scope of practice of the chiropractic profession in Australia: a scoping review.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

The World Health Organization describes chiropractic as a health profession that treats the musculoskeletal system and the effects of that system on the function of the nervous system and general health. Notwithstanding such descriptions, scope of practice remains a contentious issue in Australia chiropractic with various authors defining it differently. To date, the peak governing body, the Chiropractic Board of Australia, has focused on title protection rather than defining a scope of practice for the profession. A well-defined scope of practice is important, as it helps to identify what is acceptable in the profession and the role chiropractic has in the broader healthcare system.

The objective of this scoping review was to explore the literature on the factors that influence scope of practice of chiropractic in Australia.

This study employed scoping review methodology to document the current state of the literature on factors that influence scope of practice of the chiropractic profession in Australia.

A total of 1270 articles were identified from the literature search. Six studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in the final analysis. Four factors that influence scope of practice were identified: education, professional identity, patient safety, and organisational structure.

The results of this study will inform future discussions around establishing a framework for a more comprehensive scope of practice for the chiropractic profession in Australia. Such a framework has the potential to benefit patient safety, professional identity, public perception, education, and regulation of the profession.

Characteristics and productivity of the chiropractic workforce of the Veterans Health Administration.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

Increasingly, integrated healthcare systems such as the United States Veterans Health Administration (VHA) are employing chiropractors. However, little is known about chiropractor employee clinical productivity which may be important for resource planning and monitoring care delivery. With its history of delivering chiropractic care and its enterprise-level assessment metrics, the VHA is an ideal setting to study a chiropractic workforce. We aim to assess characteristics of chiropractors employed by the VHA and explore associations between these characteristics and clinical productivity.

This was a cross-sectional and serial analyses of VHA administrative data. Characteristics of the chiropractor workforce were evaluated from fiscal year (FY) 2016 to FY2019. Productivity was calculated using the VHA productivity measure, the quotient of an individual's total work relative value units (wRVUs) per FY divided by the direct clinical full-time equivalent (FTE) worked. A multivariable regression model was used to analyze the association between productivity and characteristics of the chiropractor and VHA facility.

From FY2016 to FY2019, the number of chiropractor employees increased from 102 to 167. In FY2019, the typical chiropractor employee was male, white, and 45.9 years old with 5.2 years of VHA experience. In FY2019, the VHA chiropractor workforce was 25.1% female, 79% white, and 20.4% Veteran. The productivity measure of a chiropractor was 3040 in FY2019. A higher facility complexity measure, presence of 3 chiropractor employees at a facility, and older age of the providers were the only characteristics studied that had a significant impact on productivity after adjusting for other covariates.

Provider characteristics and productivity metrics of the VHA chiropractor employee workforce are presented. The productivity measure provides an initial benchmarking that may be relevant to future modeling of chiropractor personnel in VHA and other healthcare systems.

The psychological impact of Behçet's disease.

Musculoskeletal care

Bechet's disease (BD), a chronic multiorgan involving disease, has a significant impact on quality of life in spite of effective treatment modalities. Disease manifestations such as arthritis, orogenital ulcerations, rashes, angiitis, and neurological involvement affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL) through its impact on depression, anxiety, and fatigue.

We aimed explore the psychological impact of BD, taking into consideration the effect on the HRQoL, as well as the association with depression, anxiety, wellbeing, and fatigue.

This is a narrative review of the literature that looks into the association of BD on the HRQoL including all studies that have assessed such as association.

Depression and anxiety are prevalent among patients with BD, and contribute significantly to fatigue, a common symptom among BD patients. In addition, the psychological wellbeing is affected by the disease, however, more studies are needed to assess this relationship.

Depression and anxiety are strongly associated with BD, and contribute significantly to fatigue, a common symptom among BD patients. In addition, the psychological wellbeing is affected by the disease, however, more studies are needed to assess this relationship. Besides, the controlling factors of the psychological impact are still to be deciphered.