Research highlights

Latest research summaries

Rehabilitation for distal radial fractures in adults

Handoll, H. H., & Elliott, J. (2015). Rehabilitation for distal radial fractures in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

This systematic review evaluates the effect of rehabilitation for adults with distal radial fractures. 26 studies, encompassing 1269 participants, are included in the review. All of the included studies were very small and low quality. Findings indicate that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether rehabilitation is effective for wrist fractures.

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Role of Physical Therapists in the Management of Individuals at Risk for or Diagnosed With Venous Thromboembolism: Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline.

Hillegass, E., Puthoff, M., Frese, E. M., Thigpen, M., Sobush, D. C., & Auten, B. (2016). Role of Physical Therapists in the Management of Individuals at Risk for or Diagnosed With Venous Thromboembolism: Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline. Physical Therapy, 96(2), 143–166.

This clinical practice guideline provides recommendations for physical therapists when working with patients with (or at risk of) venous thromboembolism or lower extremity deep vein thrombosis. 14 recommendations are provided, based on research evidence. Several risk factor charts are also provided, including a flow chart for whether or not it is safe to mobilize on a patient with diagnosed venous thromboembolism.

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

Dommerholt, J., Finnegan, M., Grieve, R., & Hooks, T. (2016). A critical overview of the current myofascial pain literature – January 2016. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 20(1), 156–167.

This review paper provides an annotated bibliography of 30 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, and other clinical studies and reviews. No specific recommendations are made, only an overview of the literature.

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Massage interventions and treatment-related side effects of breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Pan, Y. Q., Yang, K. H., Wang, Y. L., Zhang, L. P., & Liang, H. Q. (2014). Massage interventions and treatment-related side effects of breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Clinical Oncology, 19(5), 829–841.

This systematic review evaluates the effect of massage on breast cancer-related symptoms. 18 randomized controlled trials, encompassing 950 participants, are included in the review. Style of massage used in the studies varied by the study, but included: arm/shoulder, posture correction, exercise therapy, soft tissue massage, myofascial release, etc. Findings indicate that patients who received massage regularly had greater reductions in anger and fatigue symptoms. However, there were no significant differences in depression, anxiety, pain, upper limb lymphedema, cortisol, and health-related quality of life. More studies with a higher quality methodology and a longer follow-up of participants are required in this area.

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Treatments for pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain: a systematic review of physiotherapy modalities

Gutke, A., Betten, C., Degerskär, K., Pousette, S., & Fagevik Olsén, M. (2015). Treatments for pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain: a systematic review of physiotherapy modalities. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 94(11), 1156–1167.

This systematic review evaluates the effect of physiotherapy interventions on pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain. 22 articles are included in the review. Assessed interventions included: acupuncture, pelvic belt/girdle, physical exercises, water gymnastics, exercise, electrotherapy, yoga, manual therapies, patient education, self-management intervention, and progressive muscle relaxation. Findings indicate that the strongest level of evidence supports the use of acupuncture and pelvic belt treatments. Other treatments showed limited evidence or contradictory evidence, in part because the studies all used different protocols, types of study participants, and outcome measurements. The review concludes that future studies should be conducted that are much higher quality with standard procedures for selecting participants and measuring outcomes. In particular, the authors highlight the lack of high-quality manual therapy studies.

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