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Chiropractic and Routine Obstetric Care

pregnantMusculoskeletal pain in pregnant women is common and is frequently viewed as short-lived and temporary.  Most women report either low back pain (LBP) or pelvic pain (PP) during pregnancy and up to 40% of patients report pain during the 18 months after delivery.  Pelvic pain in pregnant women is a health care challenge in which moderate and severe pain develops rather early and has important implications for society.  These pain syndromes increase sick leave and impair general level of function during pregnancy.

Previous research has evaluated different treatments to reduce morbidity in women with LBP and/or PP during pregnancy including prescription exercise, manual manipulation, education, acupuncture, and pelvic belts amongst others.

The authors of this study conducted a prospective, randomized, masked clinical trial (including 169 women) to test the hypothesis that a multimodal approach (MOM) involving a chiropractor including manual therapy, exercise, and education for LBP/PP in pregnant women is superior to standard obstetric care (STOB) for reducing pain, impairment, and disability in the antepartum period.

Patients from this study were recruited from 3 university affiliated practices (Washington University, St. Louis, MO).  Patients were between 15-45 years old with a single fetus from 24-28 weeks’ gestation.  Patients were evaluated by their obstetric provider for LBP, PP or both.  Exclusion criteria included acute inflammatory disease, acute infectious disease, chronic back pain for greater than 8 weeks before pregnancy, a mental health disorder, back pain from visceral disease, ongoing treatment for previous back pain, peripheral vascular disease, substance abuse, or litigation pending from back pain.

A single, masked chiropractic specialist conducted the baseline evaluation (BE) with eligible volunteers before randomization.  Randomization of subjects across to the STOB group or the STOB plus multimodal musculoskeletal and obstetric treatment (MOM) group was achieved across all 3 sites.

Subjective and objective measures were collected at baseline evaluation (24-28 weeks’ gestation) with follow-up at 33 weeks’ gestation. Three questionnaires including the numerical rating scale, Quebec task force disability questionnaire (QDQ) and personal pain history (PPH) were obtained.  Physical assessments included the straight leg raise (SLR), posterior PP provocation test, active SLR, and long dorsal ligament test.

Patients in the both the STOB and MOM groups selected their own obstetric provider.   In addition to obstetric care, the MOM group had weekly visits with a chiropractor until 33 weeks’ gestation who provided education, manual therapy, and lower back and pelvic stabilization exercises.  Patients were reassured the pain experienced was not likely pathologic and that activation of joints and muscle through exercise would likely improve symptoms and signs without posing risk to the patient or her fetus.  Joint mobilization involved gently moving hypomobile joints in their restricted directions to help restore proper range of motion.  The gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, quadratus lumborum, abdominal wall, and intrinsic spine muscles were targeted in the quadruped, supine, or side-lying positions.

Key findings of this study were:

  • the MOM group (involving chiropractor) had a significant reduction in pain on 7 indices (NRS, QDQ, SLR(left), active SLR, long dorsal ligament test, PPH – leg and shoulders)
  • the STOB group had a significant increase in pain on 5 indices and only 1 improvement (PPH -leg)
  • The MOM group reported significantly less trouble sleeping at 33 weeks’ gestation than the STOB group
  • No adverse events were reported in either group

In summary, including chiropractic interventions with standard obstetric care for low back and pelvic pain in mid pregnancy benefits patients more than standard obstetric care alone. The benefits derived are both subjective and objective. Patients perceived less pain and disability and an overall global improvement in daily activities. Their physical examinations revealed improved range of motion, stability, and less irritation at the lumbar and pelvic joints.

Reference:

George JW, Skaggs CD, Thompson PA, Nelson DM, Gavard JA, Gross GA. A randomized controlled trial comparing a multimodal intervention and standard obstetrics care for low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Apr;208(4):295.e1-7.

 

 

Podcast

Dr. Lise Hestbaek

Life Course of Back Pain and Pediatric Chiropractic with Dr. Lise Hestbæk

Dr. Lise Hestbaek

In this episode Dr. Hestbæk discusses her research involving the life course of back pain and her focus on pediatric chiropractic.  Lise Hestbæk, DC, PhD, received her chiropractic degree in 1990 from Palmer College of Chiropractic. She was a practising chiropractor from 1991-2007 and from 1997 to 2007 was involved in part-time research, mostly at the Back Research Center in Ringe, Denmark. She received her Ph.D. in 2003 on a thesis about high-risk groups and risk factors for low back pain in children and adolescents. Since 2008 she has been an associate professor at University of Southern Denmark and senior researcher at the Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics. Her research focuses on two specific areas: 1. Musculoskeletal health in children and adolescence and; 2. Lifetime epidemiology of back pain.

See Lise’s publications here.

Here is the link to one of Lise’s free full text publications on musculoskeletal pain in children and adolescents as mentioned in the podcast.

“Results: Rates of self-reported MSK pain in adolescents are similar to those in adult populations and they are typically higher in teenage girls than boys. Epidemiological research has identified conditions such as back and neck pain as major causes of disability in adolescents, and in up to a quarter of cases there are impacts on school or physical activities. A range of physical, psychological and social factors have been shown to be associated with MSK pain report, but the strength and direction of these relationships are unclear. There are few validated instruments available to quantify the nature and severity of MSK pain in children, but some show promise. Several national surveys have shown that adolescents with MSK pain commonly seek care and use medications for their condition. Some studies have revealed a link between MSK pain in adolescents and chronic pain in adults.

BULLET POINTS

• The prevalence of MSK pain approaches adult levels by the end of adolescence.
• Persistent adolescent MSK pain is a risk factor for chronic pain in adulthood.
• MSK pain has substantial impacts in up to 1/4 of cases.
• The relationship of other adverse health risk factors and MSK pain is unclear.
• There is little research to inform clinical management of childhood MSK pain”

Musculoskeletal pain conditions are often recurrent in nature, occurring throughout the life-course. Attempts to understand these conditions at a time close to their initial onset may offer a better chance of developing effective prevention and treatment strategies.”

Click here to find a list of Dr. Hestbæk’s publications on researchgate.

Here is a list of the publications we discuss during this interview:

1. Validity of Commonly Used Clinical Tests to Diagnose and Screen for Spinal Pain in Adolescents: A School-Based Cohort Study in 1300 Danes Aged 11-15 Years.
Aartun E, Hartvigsen J, Hestbaek L.
J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2016 Feb;39(2):76-87. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2016.01.007.
PMID: 26896035 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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2. Clinical examination findings as prognostic factors in low back pain: a systematic review of the literature.
Hartvigsen L, Kongsted A, Hestbaek L.
Chiropr Man Therap. 2015 Mar 23;23:13. doi: 10.1186/s12998-015-0054-y.
PMID: 25802737 [PubMed] Free PMC Article
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3. Patients with low back pain had distinct clinical course patterns that were typically neither complete recovery nor constant pain. A latent class analysis of longitudinal data.
Kongsted A, Kent P, Hestbaek L, Vach W.
Spine J. 2015 May 1;15(5):885-94. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2015.02.012.
PMID: 25681230 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free Article
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4. Low back pain across the life course.
Dunn KM, Hestbaek L, Cassidy JD.
Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2013 Oct;27(5):591-600. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2013.09.007. Review.
PMID: 24315141 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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5. Musculoskeletal pain in children and adolescents.
Kamper SJ, Henschke N, Hestbaek L, Dunn KM, Williams CM.
Braz J Phys Ther. 2016 Feb 16;20(3):275-84. doi: 10.1590/bjpt-rbf.2014.0149.
PMID: 27437719 [PubMed – in process] Free PMC Article
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6. The evidence base for chiropractic treatment of musculoskeletal conditions in children and adolescents: The emperor’s new suit?
Hestbaek L, Stochkendahl MJ.
Chiropr Osteopat. 2010 Jun 2;18:15. doi: 10.1186/1746-1340-18-15.
PMID: 20525199 [PubMed] Free PMC Article
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Dr. Michael Schneider

Spine Care Research with Dr. Michael Schneider

Dr. Michael Schneider - Chiropractic Science Podcast
Learn about Dr. Michael Schneider’s chiropractic research on this episode of Chiropractic Science.  Dr. Schneider is a 1982 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and obtained a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. Dr. Schneider has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles on various musculoskeletal topics, and has received over $3 million in US research grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Dr. Schneider is currently implementing a large randomized clinical trial comparing various types of non-surgical treatment options, including chiropractic care, for patients with lumbar spinal stenosis. We will discuss the clinical significance of his past and present chiropractic research efforts.

Topics for this episode include:

  • A paper published in the journal Spine comparing spinal manipulation and usual medical care for acute and subacute low back pain: a randomized clinical trial
  • Evidence and the chiropractic identity
  • An article regarding US chiropractors’ attitudes, skills and use of evidence-based practice: A cross-sectional national survey
  • A paper in Chiropractic and Manual Therapies describing on ongoing study consisting of 180 older adults (>60 years) who have both an anatomic diagnosis of stenosis confirmed by diagnostic imaging, and signs/symptoms consistent with a clinical diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis confirmed by clinical examination. Treatment is randomized into 3 groups: 1) usual medical care; 2) individualized manual therapy and rehabilitative exercise; or 3) community-based group exercise.
  • Three consensus documents for the chiropractic profession including: 1) chiropractic care in health promotion, disease prevention, and wellness; 2) chiropractic care of older adults and; 3) chiropractic care for infants, children, and adolescents.
  • An observational intervention study dealing with a hospital-based standardized spine care pathway. The study looked at implementing a multidimensional spine care pathway (SCP) using the National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Back Pain Recognition Program (BPRP) as its foundation. In the study, chiropractors were the main providers.

Here’s the link to the Foundations of Evidence Informed Practice modules that Dr. Schneider mentions in this podcast.  The course is hosted at the the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality & Healing – Advancing the health and wellbeing of individuals, organizations and communities.

http://www.csh.umn.edu/research/foundations-evidence-informed-practice-modules