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    Medical Research Supports Chiropractic Maintenance Care

    Two research studies generated by the medical profession this year add evidence in support of the value of chiropractic maintenance care.

    The first study published in January 2011 in Spine concluded that “SMT (Spinal Manipulative Therapy) is effective for the treatment of chronic non specific Low Back Pain. To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests maintenance spinal manipulations after the initial intensive manipulative therapy.”

    The second study in April 2011, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, provides additional support for the value of chiropractic maintenance care for post injury low back pain patients. The study followed 894 injured workers for a period of one year. During that year there were four different types of therapy available to the workers: medical management, physical therapy, chiropractic, and no therapy. Episodes of repeat disability were recorded during the year following the initial injury. Physical therapy had the highest percentage of reinjured workers followed by those receiving medical management or no treatment at all. The lowest incidence of repeat injury was found among those workers who had received chiropractic maintenance care.

    The results of published surveys given to chiropractors have documented the profession’s belief in the value of maintenance care. Furthermore, during the last decade there have been a dozen peer reviewed papers on the subject. There are far more questions to be answered, but it is heartening to see medical research corroborate the studies and beliefs of the chiropractic profession.

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    Chiropractic Care And Golf Performance

    A recent study shows that chiropractic care and stretching seems to be associated with an improvement of golfers swing performance when compared to stretching alone.

    The study had 43 golfers enrolled into 2 groups: group I received a stretching program only and group II received a stretching program and spinal manipulation. The golfers in both groups received the same stretching program. All golfers hit 3 balls before and after treatment and this was done for 4 weeks.

    No improvement of swing performance was observed in the stretch only group after 4 weeks. An improvement was observed in the stretch and manipulation group after 4 weeks and there was an increase in driving distance each week right after treatment.

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    Shoulder Pain and Massage Therapy

    Shoulder pain is quite common in society. Many people resort to the use of prescription drugs or surgery for shoulder pain. This is not always necessary, however. A study was conducted to look at the effects of myofascial therapy on shoulder trigger points in patients with chronic shoulder pain. There were two groups- one group received treatments that consisted of ischemic compression (a massage therapy technique) to trigger points (hyperirritable, taut bands) in the rotator cuff muscles, the deltoid muscle and biceps tendon. The control group received treatment to trigger points in the neck and upper back.

    The results of the study showed that the group who received the therapy to the shoulder muscles experienced a significant reduction in their Shoulder Pain and Disability Index scores compared to the control group.

    Chronic Shoulder Pain of Myofascial Origin: A Randomized Clinic Trial Using Ischemic Compression Therapy. Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics 2010; 33:362-369

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    Women With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Show Restricted Neck Range of Motion

    Neck movement and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) are apparently related according to this study. What it does not reveal is following question: Does the restricted motion contribute to CTS or is it a consequence of CTS? A study was done to compare the amount of neck range of motion in women with minimal, mild/moderate and severe CTS. It is possible that the cervical spine may be involved in individuals with CTS. No study has investigated the relationship between neck range of motion and symptoms associated with CTS severity.

    In this study, neck range of motion was assessed in 71 women with CTS (18 with minimal, 18 with moderate, and 35 with severe symptoms) and in 20 healthy women. These women were 31 to 60 years in age. An experienced therapist, blinded to the participants’ conditions, used a cervical range-of-motion device to assess cervical range of motion.

    The analyses revealed that the individuals with CTS exhibited restricted neck range of motion compared to healthy controls with no significant differences among the groups with minimal, moderate or severe CTS.

    In conclusion, women with minimal, moderate, or severe CTS exhibited less neck range of motion compared to women of a similar age. This is suggesting that restricted neck range of motion may be a common feature in individuals with CTS, independent of severity subgroups, as defined by electrodiagnosis.