Category Archives: Ortho

Easing Tennis Elbow Pain With Simple Eccentric Wrist Exercise


A small trial recently showed that a simple eccentric wrist twist exercise can be very effective in the treatment of ‘tennis elbow’ ( lateral epicondylitis ). Adding these simple exercises to a home program dramatically improved functional scores and pain reduction.

The exercise can be performed anywhere and serves the same purpose as very expensive isokinetic machines. Instead of expensive machines the exercise involves the use of a small rubber bar similar in size and shape to a baton used in running relay races. Using the rubber bar, “twist with the wrist of their uninjured arm and then slowly untwist with eccentric wrist extension of the injured arm over a period of about four seconds. Three sets of 15 repetitions were scheduled each day.”

The trial was reported at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in Keystone, Colo.

Read more at Medpage Today.

Manipulation and Exercise


cervical-and-upper-thoracic-spineA recent article on Dynamic Chiropractic entitled “Update on Manipulation and Exercise – What the Research Says” discusses research examining the connection and synergistic effects of combining spinal manipulation with exercise. While the article does state that not all research finds a positive synergistic effect between the two, it goes on to state that it is “purely logical” that spinal manipulation will have a positive effect on exercise.

A number of studies are briefly discussed, including studies that involved participation of chiropractors, physical therapists and osteopaths performing the spinal manipulations and/or administering exercises. It is interesting to note that one study of patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) or chronic neck pain (CNP) found “Sixty-four percent of physical therapy patients were prescribed exercise, compared to 33.1 percent of DCs and only 14.4 percent of MDs/DOs.”

Read the full article

Can wearing flip flops lead to plantar fasciitis?

Vibram Five fingersA recent article written by a physical therapist in British Columbia, Canada and posted on the site claims that wearing flip flops often lead to plantar fasciitis. The article goes on to state that shoes with poor arch support such as flip flops and cleats are a common culprit when looking into causes of plantar fasciitis.

Included in the brief article is a nice general explanation of what plantar fasciitis is, why some people develop it, and some common physical therapy assessment techniques and treatments.

Not mentioned in the article is the possibility that perhaps people spend too much time in footwear that is actually too supportive. It could be that we rely too much on this artificial support rather than developing strong intrinsics and arches. Maybe a good recommendation would be to spend more time barefoot or wearing less supportive and more natural, barefoot-like footwear such as Vibram Five Finger shoes.

Read the full article here.

Tai Chi Benefits For Arthritis Sufferers


Tai ChiA recent study by the The George Institute for International Health has found that regular practice of Tai Chi can result in significant benefits to arthritis sufferers. They reported that Tai Chi has a positive effect on pain reduction and in reducing disability and that their study is “…the first robust evidence to support the beneficial effects of Tai Chi”.

The study is among the many that support the improvements that arthritis sufferers can experience through regular exercise.

The The George Institute for International Health is “an internationally-recognised health research organisation, undertaking high impact research across a broad health landscape.”

From: Medical News Today

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) not improved by arthroscopic surgery

Knee ArthroscopyA recent study published in the Australian Journal of Physiotherapy found that arthroscopic surgery  in osteoarthritic knees offered no significant benefits, when used in conjunction with physical therapy and medications as opposed to physical therapy and medications alone.

The subjects of the study had moderate to severe OA of the knee and did not experience improvements in physical function, pain or health-related quality of life when arthroscopic surgery was added to their regimen of physical therapy and medications.

Read the abstract

(from Pubmed)