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Dynamic Chiropractic – June 3, 2012, Vol. 30, Issue 12
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dynamicchiropractic.com >> Chronic / Acute Conditions

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

March-April 2012 Abstracts Volume 35, Issue 3

The JMPT is the premier scientific journal of the chiropractic profession, dedicated to the advancement of chiropractic health care. The National University of Health Sciences, owner of the journal, upholds the journal's compliance with the highest publication standards, which expressly support editorial freedom and best publication practices.

The JMPT is an independent publication that strives to provide the best scientific information that improves health care practice and future research.

Association Between Self-Reported Cardiovascular Disorders and Neck Pain

Paul S. Nolet, DC, MS, MPH, et al.

Objective: The purpose of this population-based cohort study was to investigate the association between self-reported cardiovascular disorders and troublesome neck pain.

Methods: Using data from the Saskatchewan Health and Back Pain Survey (1995), we formed a cohort of 922 randomly sampled Saskatchewan adults with no or mild neck pain. We used the Comorbidity Questionnaire to measure the point prevalence of self-reported cardiovascular disorders and classified them into three levels of severity: (1) absent, (2) present but does not or mildly impacts on my health, and (3) present and moderately or severely impacts on my health. Six and 12 months later, we measured the presence of troublesome neck pain (grades II-IV) using the Chronic Pain Questionnaire. Multivariable Cox regression was used to estimate the association between cardiovascular disorders and the troublesome neck pain while controlling for confounders.

Results: The follow-up rate was 73.8% (680/922) at six months and 62.7% (578/922) at one year. No association was found between self-reported cardiovascular disorders that had no or mild impact on health and the onset of troublesome neck pain. We found a crude association between self-reported cardiovascular disorders that moderately or severely impacted health and the onset of troublesome neck pain (crude hazard rate ratio, 4.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.8-10.0). The association was positively confounded by age, sex, and education (adjusted hazard rate ratio, 5.9; 95% confidence interval, 2.3-14.9).

Conclusions: Our analysis suggests self-reported cardiovascular disorders that moderately or severely impact one's health are a risk factor for developing troublesome neck pain.

Assessing Musculoskeletal Chest Pain: Key Determinants

Mette J. Stochkendahl, DC, PhD, et al.

Objective: The purposes of this study were to identify the most important determinants from the patient history and clinical examination in diagnosing musculoskeletal chest pain (MSCP) in patients with acute noncardiac chest pain when supported by a structured protocol; and to construct a decision tree for identification of MSCP in acute noncardiac chest pain.

Methods: Consecutive patients with noncardiac chest pain (n = 302) recruited from an emergency cardiology department were assessed. Using data from self-report questionnaires, interviews, and clinical assessment, patient characteristics were associated with the MSCP diagnosis, and the decision-making process of the clinician was reconstructed using recursive procedures in the tradition of constructing Classification and Regression Trees.

Results: Thirty-eight percent of patients had MSCP. There was no single determinant that predicted the condition completely. However, many items with high associations could be identified, mainly with high negative predictive value. The decision-making process was reconstructed giving rise to a five-step, linear decision tree without branches.

Conclusions: Clinicians use a combination of indicators including systematic palpation of the spine and chest wall and items from the case history to diagnose MSCP. However, the high negative predictive values of the main determinants suggest that the MSCP diagnosis may be a diagnosis by exclusion.

Functional Radiographic Analysis of Thoracic Spine Extension Motion

Aaron A. Puhl, MSc, et al.

Objective: The purposes of this study were to examine the range of thoracic spine extension motion in a group of young, asymptomatic subjects and compare the radiologically derived measurements with those obtained using photographic analysis, and to examine the relationship between the magnitude of the neutral thoracic kyphosis and the range of thoracic spine extension motion.

Methods: In 14 asymptomatic male subjects (mean age ± SD, 30.2 ± 7 years), the thoracic kyphosis in standing and full thoracic spine extension was measured from lateral thoracic spine radiographs and digital photographs. The difference between the two measurements was used to define the range of thoracic extension motion.

Results: The range of thoracic extension motion measured radiologically was between 0 and 26° (mean ± SD, 12.0° ± 8.9°), whereas the photographic range was between 8° and 23° (mean ± SD, 12.4° ± 4.1°). There was a significant correlation between the photographic and radiographic measurements of extension range (r = 0.69, P < .01). Extension range of motion measured radiologically was significantly correlated with the magnitude of the thoracic kyphosis (r = 0.71, P < .01).

Conclusion: Functional radiographs of the thoracic spine can be used to measure the extension range of motion and define the extreme of range. The range of thoracic extension motion may be influenced by the magnitude of the neutral kyphosis. This technique may be used in future studies to evaluate the impact of spinal disorders on thoracic spine mobility.

Chiropractic and Concurrent Care Among Older Medicare Beneficiaries

Paula A.M. Weigel, MS, et al.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to define and characterize episodes of chiropractic care among older Medicare beneficiaries and to evaluate the extent to which chiropractic services were used in tandem with conventional medicine.

Methods: Medicare Part B claims histories for 1991 to 2007 were linked to the nationally representative survey on Assets and Health Dynamics among the Oldest Old baseline interviews (1993-1994) to define episodes of chiropractic sensitive care using 4 approaches. Chiropractic and nonchiropractic patterns of service use were examined within these episodes of care. Of the 7,447 Assets and Health Dynamics among the Oldest Old participants, 971 used chiropractic services and constituted the analytic sample.

Results: There were substantial variations in the number and duration of episodes, and the type and volume of services used across the four definitions. Depending on how the episode was constructed, the mean number of episodes per chiropractic user ranged from 3.74 to 23.12, the mean episode duration ranged from 4.7 to 28.8 days, the mean number of chiropractic visits per episode ranged from 0.88 to 2.8, and the percentage of episodes with co-occurrent use of chiropractic and nonchiropractic providers ranged from 4.9% to 10.9% over the 17-year period.

Conclusion: Treatment for back-related musculoskeletal conditions was sought from a variety of providers, but there was little co-occurrent service use or coordinated care across provider types within care episodes. Chiropractic treatment dosing patterns in everyday practice were much lower than that used in clinical trial protocols designed to establish chiropractic efficacy for back-related conditions.

Short-Term Effects of Manipulation on Plasma Epinephrine and Norepinephrine

Jorge H. Villafañe, PT, MSc, et al.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the short-term effects of spinal manipulation applied to a hypomobile segment of the upper thoracic spine (T1-T6), on plasma concentrations of norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (E) in asymptomatic subjects, under strictly controlled conditions.

Methods: Fifty-six asymptomatic subjects were randomly assigned to receive either a chiropractic manipulative intervention or a sham intervention in the upper thoracic spine. A 20-gauge catheter fitted with a saline lock was used to sample blood before, immediately after, and 15 minutes after intervention. Plasma NE and E concentrations were determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Changes in plasma catecholamine concentrations were analyzed within and between groups using 1- and 2-sample t tests, respectively.

Results: The plasma samples of 36 subjects (18 treatment, 18 control) were used in the analysis. Mean plasma concentrations of NE and E did not significantly differ between the two groups at any time point and did not change significantly after either the manipulative or sham intervention.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that a manipulative thrust directed to a hypomobile segment in the upper thoracic spine of asymptomatic subjects does not have a measurable effect on the plasma concentrations of NE or E. These results provide a baseline measure of the sympathetic response to spinal manipulation.

Managing LBP: Shared Decision-Making Through Informed Consent

Simon Dagenais, MSc, DC, PhD, et al.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to propose questions that may be helpful to educate patients considering treatment approaches to manage low back pain (LBP) and to determine if the information currently presented in informed consent (IC) documents at chiropractic colleges is sufficient to help a patient considering chiropractic management of LBP make a fully informed decision.

Methods: Questions to inform decision-making for a patient contemplating any intervention for LBP were developed by the authors based on their clinical and research experience. Answers to the questions were suggested based on findings from recent clinical practice guidelines and systematic reviews. Institutions that are members of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) were surveyed and asked to provide a copy of the IC documents currently used in their outpatient educational clinics. The IC documents were analyzed to determine if they stated (or implied) information that may be helpful in addressing each of the proposed questions.

Results: The list of 20 questions included four questions on each of the following five topics: condition, proposed treatment, potential benefits, potential harms, and possible alternatives. A total of 21 ACC institutions were contacted, of which 20 responded. The number of questions that could potentially be answered with information provided in the IC documents ranged from two to 13, with a mean of 6.5, including a mean of 3.6 stated answers and 2.9 implied answers.

Conclusions: Some information to help patients consider chiropractic management of LBP is currently included in the IC documents used in clinics of ACC institutions. However, many of the questions that could help achieve shared decision-making are not included. Modifying IC documents may help patients understand the nature, benefits, harms, costs, and alternatives to LBP care.

JMPT abstracts appear in DC with permission from the journal. Due to space restrictions, we cannot always print all abstracts from a given issue. Visit www.journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/ymmt for access to the complete March-April 2012 issue of JMPT.

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