Research highlights

Latest research summaries

Understanding and working with the psychodynamics of practitioner–patient relationships in the manual therapies.

Sher, D., & Sher, M. (2016). Understanding and working with the psychodynamics of practitioner–patient relationships in the manual therapies. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 20(2), 293–299.

This review paper discusses the psychodynamics of practitioner-patient relationships in manual therapies. Five key areas are discussed: 1) pain as a form of communication, 2) the “heart-sink” patient, 3) dependency, 4) the erotic transference, and 5) endings and loss. Ideas in the paper largely come from the authors’ programmes, “What is the patient really telling me?”. No specific recommendations or conclusions are presented, just an overview of the research.

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Effect of Massage Therapy on Duration of Labour: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Bolbol-Haghighi, N. (2016). Effect of Massage Therapy on Duration of Labour: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 10(4)Access full text online at: http://jcdr.net/article_fulltext.asp?issn=0973-709x&year=2016&volume=10&....

This randomized controlled trial evaluates the effectiveness of massage therapy for reducing the length of labour. 100 pregnant women participated in the study. Massages were provided by midwifery students. The massages were applied to under belly, upper thighs, sacral region, shoulders, and legs, for at least 30 minutes; the control group received routine care. Findings indicate that massage therapy was effective in reducing first and second stages of labour and improving Apgar scores and the first and fifth minutes. However, patients and providers were not blinded to test conditions, which is a major limitation of the study.

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Efficacy of Different Types of Mobilization Techniques in Patients With Primary Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder: A Systematic Review.

Noten, S., Meeus, M., Stassijns, G., Van Glabbeek, F., Verborgt, O., & Struyf, F. (2016). Efficacy of Different Types of Mobilization Techniques in Patients With Primary Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder: A Systematic Review. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 97(5), 815–825.

This systematic review evaluates the effectiveness of mobilization techniques for patients with primary adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder. 12 studies, encompassing 810 patients, were included in the review. 7 different mobilization techniques were evaluated: angular mobilization, cyriax approach, maitland technique, translational mobilizations, spine mobilizations, high-intensity mobilization, and mulligan technique. Due to the low quality of evidence and differences between each of the studies, it is difficult to make specific conclusions about efficacy.

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Effects of exercise and manual therapy on pain associated with hip osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Beumer, L., Wong, J., Warden, S. J., Kemp, J. L., Foster, P., & Crossley, K. M. (2016). Effects of exercise and manual therapy on pain associated with hip osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(8), 458–463.

This systematic review and meta-analysis explores the effects of water-based exercise, land-based exercise, or manual therapy on pain in adults with hip osteoarthritis. 19 studies are included in the review. Findings indicate that the highest quality evidence favours exercise therapy for hip osteoarthritis in the short term (but not medium or long term). Higher quality evidence is needed to determine the effectiveness of manual therapy. Current evidence does not support the use of manual therapy (either alone or combined with exercise therapy) but the included studies were low in quality.

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A critical overview of the current myofascial pain literature – March 2016.

Dommerholt, J., Hooks, T., Finnegan, M., & Grieve, R. (2016). A critical overview of the current myofascial pain literature – March 2016. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 20(2), 397–408.

This review paper provides an annotated bibliography of 26 articles recently published on myofascial pain, trigger points, and related topics. Research is divided into the following sections: basic research, manual therapy and soft tissue approaches, dry needling and acupuncture, injection therapy, modalities, and other clinical studies. No specific recommendations are made, only an overview of the literature.

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