Research highlights

Latest research summaries

The Clinical Effects of Aromatherapy Massage on Reducing Pain for the Cancer Patients: Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Chen, T.-H., Tung, T.-H., Chen, P.-S., Wang, S.-H., Chao, C.-M., Hsiung, N.-H., & Chi, C.-C. (2016). The Clinical Effects of Aromatherapy Massage on Reducing Pain for the Cancer Patients: Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 1–6.

This systematic review and meta analysis evaluates the effect of aromatherapy massage on reducing pain in cancer patients. 3 studies, encompassing 278 patients, are included in the review. Findings indicate that massage with essential oils did not help reduce cancer pain, compared to usual care, although it is difficult to draw firm conclusions due to the small number of trials and methodological issues in the original studies.

Access full text online at: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/9147974/abs/

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Knee osteoarthritis pain in the elderly can be reduced by massage therapy, yoga and tai chi: A review

Field, T. (2016). Knee osteoarthritis pain in the elderly can be reduced by massage therapy, yoga and tai chi: A review. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 22, 87–92“.http://www.ctcpjournal.com/article/S1744-3881(16)30001-9/abstract.

This literature review provides an overview of some of the recent research on physical therapy interventions for knee osteoarthritis. Interventions discussed include massage therapy, yoga therapy, and tai chi, as well as a discussion of the mechanisms of action for each. No particular conclusions or recommendations are provided, only a review of the literature.

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Exercises to improve function of the rheumatoid hand (SARAH): a randomised controlled trial

Lamb, S. E., Williamson, E. M., Heine, P. J., Adams, J., Dosanjh, S., Dritsaki, M., … Williams, M. A. (2015). Exercises to improve function of the rheumatoid hand (SARAH): a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 385(9966), 421–429.

This randomized controlled trial, published in the very prestigious journal The Lancet, evaluates the effect of a tailored hand exercise program on adults with rheumatoid arthritis. 490 adults from 17 different health service sites participated in the trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive usual care or usual care plus a tailored strengthening and stretching hand exercise program provided by a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist. The exercise program consisted of 7 mobility exercises and 4 strength or endurance exercises. The exercises were intended to be done at home daily for at least 12 weeks. See original article for further information on protocol. Findings indicate that the tailored exercise program was an effective and low cost intervention.

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Structured exercise improves mobility after hip fracture: a meta-analysis with meta-regression.

Diong, J., Allen, N., & Sherrington, C. (2016). Structured exercise improves mobility after hip fracture: a meta-analysis with meta-regression. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(6), 346–356.

This systematic review and meta analysis explores the effect of structured exercise programs on mobility in people after hip fracture. 13 studies are included in the review. Findings indicate that the most effective interventions included progressive resistance training and were delivered in settings outside the hospital, although it is possible the results are skewed because these trials has a longer intervention. Structured exercise programs, in general, were found to provide statistically significant improvement, although the effect was small.

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The Role of Descending Modulation in Manual Therapy and Its Analgesic Implications: A Narrative Review

Vigotsky, A. D., & Bruhns, R. P. (2015). The Role of Descending Modulation in Manual Therapy and Its Analgesic Implications: A Narrative Review. Pain Research and Treatment, 2015, 1–11.

This literature review discusses the research on the neurophysiological response and mechanisms of action to different types of manual therapy. Specific manual therapies that are discussed include: osteopathic manipulative therapy, spinal manipulation, knee joint manipulation, ankle joint mobilization, mulligan’s mobilization with movement, neural mobilization, connective tissue massage, acupressure, and conventional massage. No specific conclusions are presented, only an overview of the literature.

Access full text online at: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/prt/2015/292805/

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