A lot of us occasionally use traction. There is a lot of research demonstrating that manual and mechanical traction are helpful with herniated discs. However, most of us do not understand how to effectively perform traction. This study concluded that it is helpful, but longer sessions and more treatments is better. Thus, when performing traction, try to consider treating for at least 5-10 minutes and for at least 5-10 sessions before assessing efficacy. SUMMARY: Traction is a beneficial treatment but most of us probably need to consider longer treatment times and larger numbers of treatments. Physical Therapy, Volume 98, Issue 4, 1 April 2018, Pages 231–242
What is Deep Tissue Massage (DTM)?
This article brings up an interesting question: "What is Deep Tissue Massage." I must admit that it is hard to define what it really means. The article tries to work out this definition. To save you the trouble of reading the whole article I will give you my edits of their answer: Deep Tissue Massage is the understanding of the deep connective tissue layers of the body, with the ability to soften and lengthen these tissues in the least painful, most effective way. SUMMARY: Defining Deep Tissue Massage is important so the public and clinicians understand what it means. Bodywork and Movement Therapies, Volume 22, Issue 2, April 2018, Pages 247-251
Is Cervical Spine Manipulation Safe?
The answer is "yes" and "no." According to tons of research noted in this study, generally it is fairly safe. And manipulation is equal to or slightly superior to mobilization. However, there are risks that are real. I did not know that the normal incidence of stroke, in the general population is 1-3 per 200,000 people! And, the average person is 44 years old and in good health! So, although manipulation is considered fairly safe, my bias now is to be even more careful and to use very gentle mobilization. SUMMARY: Cervical manipulation is generally safe, but stroke is common so you need to be really, really careful. Medical Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, v. 33, Feb. 2018, p. 31-45
Taping patients has become a popular therapy. But, there is little research to substantiate its efficacy. This study of ankle function shows that taping with tension is superior to other standard taping methods. It compared stretchy tape with tension to tape without tension in a meta-analysis It has confirmed one of my suspicions that taping can provide stability to joints and lessen wear and tear and inflammation.
SUMMARY: Taping reduces improves joint function, especially if there is tension to stabilize the joint Clinical Rehabilitation July 18, 2018
LEDs are now being tested for treating cancer. The researchers noted that the light penetrated through the tissue up to a distance of almost 8 inches(20 cm)!! That means that when you use an infrared LED you can expect it to penetrate 8 inches! Wow! Results showed that the LED system could be a big help in killing deep seated tumors. Oncotarget. 2018; 9:20048-20057
This article is an overview of recent cranial research. Issues of importance are:
This is an interesting question as patients often ask us about their doctor's suggestion to get a steroid injection. This was recently researched. The answer? Corticosteroid injections and hands on treatments (mobilization, modalities, massage, etc.) both improve symptoms but treatment with steroids is FASTER. However, a hands on program is associated with MORE PERMANENT pain relief. So, the impatient patient needs to know this! Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2018 Apr 16;7(4):603-610
We assume that massage, proper body mechanics, taping, modalities and exercise are the solution for elbow tendinitis. This study showed that pain, grip strength, and functional abilities all improved with mobilization of the elbow. We cannot forget about the value of mobilization with patients suffering from lateral epicondylitis! J Hand Therapy 2018 Apr 25.
Patients with heart problems are at risk for serious, life-threatening problems. What if massage can help these problems? This study noted that massage on the patient's hands and feet improved their anxiety, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate. Let's hope hospitals read this research! Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2018 May; 31:126-131