Neck Pain – Osteoarthritis – Whiplash

Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2007 Feb;21(1):93-108.

Strategies for prevention and management of musculoskeletal conditions.  Neck pain.

Jensen I, Harms-Ringdahl K.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Section of Personal Injury Prevention, Karolinska Institutet, and Department of Physical Therapy, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. irene.jensen@ki.se

The aim of this article was to summarise the existing evidence concerning interventions for non-specific neck pain. Neck-and-shoulder pain is commonly experienced by both adolescents and adults. Although the prevalence appears to vary among different nations, the situation is essentially the same, at least in the industrialised nations. Explanations for the wide variation in incidence and prevalence include various methodological issues. Back and neck disorders represent one of the most common causes for both short- and long-term sick leave and disability pension. Evidenced risk factors for the onset and maintenance of non-specific neck and back pain include both individual and work-related psychosocial factors. Based on the existing evidence different forms of exercise can be strongly recommended for at-risk populations, as well as for the acute and chronic non-specific neck pain patient. Furthermore, for symptom relief this condition can be treated with transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, low level laser therapy, pulse electromagnetic treatment or radiofrequency denervation.

Pain. 2007 Jan;127(1-2):173-82. Epub 2006 Oct 18.

Pulsed radiofrequency adjacent to the cervical dorsal root ganglion in chronic cervical radicular pain: a double blind sham controlled randomized clinical trial.

Van Zundert J, Patijn J, Kessels A, Lamé I, van Suijlekom H, van Kleef M.

Department of Anesthesiology, Pain Management and Research Centre, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands. janvanzundert@pandora.be

Abstract

Cervical radicular pain affects approximately 1 on 1000 adults per year. Although many treatment modalities are described in the literature, the available evidence for efficacy is not sufficient to allow definitive conclusions on the optimal therapy to be made. The effect of pulsed radiofrequency treatment for this type of patients was evaluated in a prospective audit that showed satisfactory pain relief for a mean period of 9.2 months, justifying a randomized sham controlled trial. Twenty-three patients, out of 256 screened, met the inclusion criteria and were randomly assigned in a double blind fashion to receive either pulsed radiofrequency or sham intervention. The evaluation was done by an independent observer. At 3 months the pulsed radiofrequency group showed a significantly better outcome with regard to the global perceived effect (>50% improvement) and visual analogue scale (20 point pain reduction). The quality of life scales also showed a positive trend in favor of the pulsed radiofrequency group, but significance was only reached in the SF-36 domain vitality at 3 months. The need for pain medication was significantly reduced in the pulsed radiofrequency group after six months. No complications were observed during the study period. These study results are in agreement with the findings of our previous clinical audit that pulsed radiofrequency treatment of the cervical dorsal root ganglion may provide pain relief for a limited number of carefully selected patients with chronic cervical radicular pain as assessed by clinical and neurological examination.

Rheumatol Int. 2005 Jun 29; [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields in the treatment of cervical osteoarthritis: a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial.

Sutbeyaz ST, Sezer N, Koseoglu BF.

Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Education and Research Hospital, Turk ocagi S No: 3 Sihhiye, Ankara, Turkey.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) on pain, range of motion (ROM) and functional status in patients with cervical osteoarthritis (COA). Thirty-four patients with COA were included in a randomized, double-blind study. PEMF was administrated to the whole body using a mat 1.8×0.6 m in size. During the treatment, the patients lay on the mat for 30 min per session, twice a day for 3 weeks. Pain levels in the PEMF group decreased significantly after therapy (p<0.001), but no change was observed in the placebo group. The active ROM, paravertebral muscle spasm and neck pain and disability scale (NPDS) scores improved significantly after PEMF therapy (p<0.001) but no change was observed in the sham group. The results of this study are promising, in that PEMF treatment may offer a potential therapeutic adjunct to current COA therapies in the future.

Pain Res Manag. 2005 Spring;10(1):21-32.

Treatment of whiplash-associated disorders–part I: Non-invasive interventions.

Conlin A, Bhogal S, Sequeira K, Teasell R.

St Joseph’s Health Centre, Parkwood Hospital, London, Canada.

BACKGROUND: A whiplash-associated disorder (WAD) is an injury due to an acceleration-deceleration mechanism at the neck. WAD represents a very common and costly condition, both economically and socially. In 1995, the Quebec Task Force published a report that contained evidence-based recommendations regarding the treatment of WAD based on studies completed before 1993 and consensus-based recommendations.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the present article–the first installment of a two-part series on interventions for WAD–is to provide a systematic review of the literature published between January 1993 and July 2003 on noninvasive interventions for WAD using meta-analytical techniques.

METHODS OF THE REVIEW: Three medical literature databases were searched for identification of all studies on the treatment of WAD. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and epidemiological studies were categorized by treatment modality and analyzed by outcome measure. The methodological quality of the RCTs was assessed. When possible, pooled analyses of the RCTs were completed for meta-analyses of the data. The results of all the studies were compiled and systematically reviewed.

RESULTS: Studies were categorized as exercise alone, multimodal intervention with exercise, mobilization, strength training, pulsed magnetic field treatment and chiropractic manipulation. A total of eight RCTs and 10 non-RCTs were evaluated. The mean score of methodological quality of the RCTs was five out of 10. Pooled analyses were completed across all treatment modalities and outcome measures. The outcomes of each study were summarized in tables.

CONCLUSIONS: There exists consistent evidence (published in two RCTs) in support of mobilization as an effective noninvasive intervention for acute WAD. Two RCTs also reported consistent evidence that exercise alone does not improve range of motion in patients with acute WAD. One RCT reported improvements in pain and range of motion in patients with WAD of undefined duration who underwent pulsed electromagnetic field treatment. Conflicting evidence in two RCTs exists regarding the effectiveness of multimodal intervention with exercise. Limited evidence, in the form of three non-RCTs, exists in support of chiropractic manipulation. Future research should be directed toward clarifying the role of exercise and manipulation in the treatment of WAD, and supporting or refuting the benefit of pulsed electromagnetic field treatment. Mobilization is recommended for the treatment of pain and compromised cervical range of motion in the acute WAD patient.

J Med Eng Technol. 2002 Nov-Dec;26(6):253-8.

Comparison between the analgesic and therapeutic effects of a musically modulated electromagnetic field (TAMMEF) and those of a 100 Hz electromagnetic field: blind experiment on patients suffering from cervical spondylosis or cervical periarthritis.

Rigato M, Battisti E, Fortunato M, Giordano N.

Department of Physics, Section of Medical Physics University of Sienna, Italy. rigato@unisi.it

The analgesic-therapeutic efficacy and tolerability of a low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF), modulated at a frequency of 100 Hz with a sinusoidal waveform and mean induction of a few gauss, has been demonstrated by the authors in numerous previous studies of various hyperalgic pathologies, particularly of the locomotor apparatus. In the present study, the authors tested a new type of all-inclusive field, denoted TAMMEF, whose parameters (frequency, intensity, waveform) are modified in time, randomly varying within the respective ranges, so that all the possible codes can occur during a single application. For the comparison, 150 subjects (118 women and 32 men, between 37 and 66 years of age) were enrolled. They were affected by cervical spondylosis (101 cases) or shoulder periarthritis (49 cases). Unbeknownst to them, they were randomly divided into three groups of 50 subjects. One group was exposed to the new TAMMEF, another group to the usual ELF, and the third group to simulated treatment. The results show that the effects of the new TAMMEF therapy are equivalent to those obtained with the ELF.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;(1):CD003523.

Electromagnetic fields for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

Hulme J, Robinson V, DeBie R, Wells G, Judd M, Tugwell P.

Cochrane Collaborating Center, Center for Global Health, Institute of Population Health – University of Ottawa, 1 Stewart Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1N 6N5. jhulme@uottawa.ca

BACKGROUND: As the focus for osteoarthritis (OA) treatment shifts away from drug therapy, we consider the effectiveness of pulsed electric stimulation which is proven to stimulate cartilage growth on the cellular level.

OBJECTIVES: 1)To assess the effectiveness of pulsed electric stimulation for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA). 2) To assess the most effective and efficient method of applying an electromagnetic field, through pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) or electric stimulation, as well as the consideration of length of treatment, dosage, and the frequency of the applications.

SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched PREMEDLINE, MEDLINE, HealthSTAR, CINAHL, PEDro, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CCTR) up to and including 2001. This included searches through the coordinating offices of the trials registries of the Cochrane Field of Physical and Related Therapies and the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group for further published and unpublished articles. The electronic search was complemented by hand searches and experts in the area.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomized controlled trials and controlled clinical trials that compared PEMF or direct electric stimulation against placebo in patients with OA.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers determined the studies to be included in the review based on inclusion and exclusion criteria (JH,VR) and extracted the data using pre-developed extraction forms for the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group. The methodological quality of the trials was assessed by the same reviewers using a validated scale (Jadad 1996). Osteoarthritis outcome measures were extracted from the publications according to OMERACT guidelines (Bellamy 1997) and additional secondary outcomes considered.

MAIN RESULTS: Only three studies with a total of 259 OA patients were included in the review. Electrical stimulation therapy had a small to moderate effect on outcomes for knee OA, all statistically significant with clinical benefit ranging from 13-23% greater with active treatment than with placebo. Only 2 outcomes for cervical OA were significantly different with PEMF treatment and no clinical benefit can be reported with changes of 12% or less.

REVIEWER’S CONCLUSIONS: Current evidence suggests that electrical stimulation therapy may provide significant improvements for knee OA, but further studies are required to confirm whether the statistically significant results shown in these trials confer to important benefits.

Neurorehabilitation
Issue: Volume 17, Number 1 / 2002
Pages: 63 – 67
URL: Linking Options

Evaluation of electromagnetic fields in the treatment of pain in patients with lumbar radiculopathy or the whiplash syndrome

Ch. Thuile A1 and M. Walzl A2

A1 International Society of Energy Medicine, Vienna, Austria

A2 State Clinic of Neurology and Psychiatry, Graz, Austria

Abstract:

Back pain and the whiplash syndrome are very common diseases involving tremendous costs and extensive medical effort. A quick and effective reduction of symptoms, especially pain, is required. In two prospective randomized studies, patients with either lumbar radiculopathy in the segments L5/S1 or the whiplash syndrome were investigated. Inclusion criteria were as follows: either clinically verified painful lumbar radiculopathy in the segments L5/S1 and a Laségue’s sign of 30 degrees (or more), or typical signs of the whiplash syndrome such as painful restriction of rotation and flexion/extension. Exclusion criteria were prolapsed intervertebral discs, systemic neurological diseases, epilepsy, and pregnancy. A total of 100 patients with lumbar radiculopathy and 92 with the whiplash syndrome were selected and entered in the study following a 1:1 ratio. Both groups (magnetic field treatment and controls) received standard medication consisting of diclofenac and tizanidine, while the magnetic field was only applied in group 1, twice a day, for a period of two weeks. In patients suffering from radiculopathy, the average time until pain relief and painless walking was 8.2 – 0.5 days in the magnetic field group, and 11.7 – 0.5 days in controls p < 0.04). In patients with the whiplash syndrome, pain was measured on a ten-point scale. Pain in the head was on average 4.6 before and 2.1 after treatment in those receiving magnetic field treatment, and 4.2/3.5 in controls. Neck pain was on average 6.3/1.9 as opposed to 5.3/4.6, and pain in the shoulder/arm was 2.4/0.8 as opposed to 2.8/2.2 (p < 0.03 for all regions). Hence, magnetic fields appear to have a considerable and statistically significant potential for reducing pain in cases of lumbar radiculopathy and the whiplash syndrome.

References:

  1. G.B.J. Andersson, The Epidemiology of Spinal Disorder, in: The Adult Spine: Principles and Practice, J.W. Frymoyer, ed., Raven Press, New York, 1991.
  2. V. Grosser, K. Seide and D. Wolter, Berufliche Belastungen und bandscheibenbedingte Erkrankungen der LWS: Derzeit-iger Kausalwissenstand in der Literatur? in: Berufskrankheit 2108: Kausalit¨at und Abgrenzungskriterien, D. Wolter and K. Seide, eds., Springer, Berlin, 1995, pp. 26-38.

Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult. 1997 Sep-Oct;(5):25-6.

Experience in using saprogel mud in combination with a magnetic field in treating cervical osteochondrosis.

[Article in Russian]

Samutin NM.

Patients with cervical osteochondrosis were successfully treated with Deshembinskoe Lake [correction of Deshembinskaya] sapropel mud in combination with exposure to magnetic field. The details of this treatment regimen are described. Combination of pelotherapy with effects of the magnetic field proved beneficial for patients with cervical osteochondrosis.

J Rheumatol. 1994 Oct;21(10):1903-11.

The effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee and cervical spine. Report of randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trials.

Trock DH, Bollet AJ, Markoll R.

Department of Medicine, Danbury Hospital, CT.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We conducted a randomized, double blind clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee and cervical spine.

METHODS: A controlled trial of 18 half-hour active or placebo treatments was conducted in 86 patients with OA of the knee and 81 patients with OA of the cervical spine, in which pain was evaluated using a 10 cm visual analog scale, activities of daily living using a series of questions (answered by the patient as never, sometimes, most of the time, or always), pain on passive motion (recorded as none, slight, moderate, or severe), and joint tenderness (recorded using a modified Ritchie scale). Global evaluations of improvement were made by the patient and examining physician. Evaluations were made at baseline, midway, end of treatment, and one month after completion of treatment.

RESULTS: Matched pair t tests showed extremely significant changes from baseline for the treated patients in both knee and cervical spine studies at the end of treatment and the one month followup observations, whereas the changes in the placebo patients showed lesser degrees of significance at the end of treatment, and had lost significance for most variables at the one month followup. Means of the treated group of patients with OA of the knee showed greater improvement from baseline values than the placebo group by the end of treatment and at the one month followup observation. Using the 2-tailed t test, at the end of treatment the differences in the means of the 2 groups reached statistical significance for pain, pain on motion, and both the patient overall assessment and the physician global assessment. The means of the treated patients with OA of the cervical spine showed greater improvement from baseline than the placebo group for most variables at the end of treatment and one month followup observations; these differences reached statistical significance at one or more observation points for pain, pain on motion, and tenderness.

CONCLUSION: PEMF has therapeutic benefit in painful OA of the knee or cervical spine.

J Rheumatol. 1993 Mar;20(3):456-60.

A double-blind trial of the clinical effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields in osteoarthritis.

Trock DH, Bollet AJ, Dyer RH Jr, Fielding LP, Miner WK, Markoll R.

Department of Medicine (Rheumatology), Danbury Hospital, CT 06810.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Further evaluation of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF), which have been observed to produce numerous biological effects, and have been used to treat delayed union fractures for over a decade.

METHODS: In a pilot, double-blind randomized trial, 27 patients with osteoarthritis (OA), primarily of the knee, were treated with PEMF. Treatment consisted of 18 half-hour periods of exposure over about 1 month in a specially designed noncontact, air-coil device. Observations were made on 6 clinical variables at baseline, midpoint of therapy, end of treatment and one month later; 25 patients completed treatment.

RESULTS: An average improvement of 23-61% occurred in the clinical variables observed with active treatment, while 2 to 18% improvement was observed in these variables in placebo treated control patients. No toxicity was observed.

CONCLUSION: The decreased pain and improved functional performance of treated patients suggests that this configuration of PEMF has potential as an effective method of improving symptoms in patients with OA. This method warrants further clinical investigation.

J Rheumatol. 1993 Mar;20(3):456-60.

The Effect of Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields in the Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee and Cervical Spine.  Report of Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Trials

Trock D. et.al.

Department of Medicine, Danbury Hospital, CT. J. of Rheumatology

From http://www.curatronic.com/scientific.html#1

OBJECTIVE. We conducted a randomized, double blind clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee and cervical spine.

METHODS. A controlled trial of 18 half-hour active or placebo treatments was conducted in 86 patients with OA of the knee and 81 patients with OA of the cervical spine, in which pain was evaluated using a 10 cm visual analog scale, activities of daily living using a series of questions (answered by the patient as never, sometimes, most of the time, or always), pain on passive motion (recorded as none, slight, moderate, or severe), and joint tenderness (recorded using a modified Ritchie scale). Global evaluations of improvement were made by the patient and examining physician. Evaluations were made at baseline, midway, end of treatment, and one month after completion of treatment.

RESULTS. Matched pair t tests showed extremely significant changes from baseline for the treated patients in both knee and cervical spine studies at the end of treatment and the one month follow-up observations, whereas the changes in the placebo patients showed lesser degrees of significance at the end of treatment, and had lost significance for most variables at the one month follow-up. Means of the treated group of patients with OA of the knee showed greater improvement from baseline values than the placebo group by the end of treatment and at the one month follow-up observation. Using the 2-tailed t test, at the end of treatment the differences in the means of the 2 groups reached statistical significance for pain, pain on motion, and both the patient overall assessment and the physician global assessment. The means of the treated patients with OA of the cervical spine showed greater improvement from baseline than the placebo group for most variables at the end of treatment and one month follow-up observations; these differences reached statistical significance at one or more observation points for pain, pain on motion, and tenderness.

CONCLUSION. PEMF has therapeutic benefit in painful OA of the knee or cervical

Scand J Rehabil Med. 1992;24(1):51-9.

Low energy high frequency pulsed electromagnetic therapy for acute whiplash injuries.  A double blind randomized controlled study.

Foley-Nolan D. et.al.

Mater Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.

The standard treatment of acute whiplash injuries (soft collar and analgesia) is frequently unsuccessful. Pulsed electromagnetic therapy PEMT has been shown to have pro-healing and anti-inflammatory effects. This study examines the effect of PEMT on the acute whiplash syndrome. PEMT as described is safe for domiciliary use and this study suggests that PEMT has a beneficial effect in the management of the acute whiplash injury.

Orthopedics. 1990 Apr;13(4):445-51.

Pulsed high frequency (27MHz) electromagnetic therapy for persistent neck pain. A double blind, placebo-controlled study of 20 patients.

Foley-Nolan D, Barry C, Coughlan RJ, O’Connor P, Roden D.

Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.

Abstract

In the majority of patients with neck pain, symptoms will resolve spontaneously or quite quickly in response to therapy. However, some patients’ symptoms persist for a long period, irrespective of therapy. In this study, 20 patients with persistent (greater than 8 weeks) neck pain were enrolled in a double blind, placebo-controlled trial of low energy, pulsed electromagnetic therapy (PEMT)–a treatment previously shown to be effective in soft tissue injuries. For the first 3-week period, group A (10 patients) received active PEMT units while group B (10 patients) received facsimile placebo units. After 3 weeks, both pain (visual analogue scale (P less than .023) and range of movement (P less than .002) had improved in the group on active treatment compared to the controls. After the second 3 weeks, during which both groups used active units, there were significant improvements in observed scores for pain and range of movement in both groups. PEMT, in the form described, can be used at home easily in the treatment of patients with neck pain. It is frequently successful and without side effects.

Minerva Anestesiol. 1989 Jul-Aug;55(7-8):295-9.

Pulsed magnetic fields.  Observations in 353 patients suffering from chronic pain.

[Article in Italian]

Di Massa A, Misuriello I, Olivieri MC, Rigato M.

Three hundred-fifty-three patients with chronic pain have been treated with pulsed electromagnetic fields. In this work the Authors show the result obtained in the unsteady follow-up (2-60 months). The eventual progressive reduction of benefits is valued by Spearman’s test. We noted the better results in the group of patients with post-herpetic pain (deafferentation) and in patients simultaneously suffering from neck and low back pain.

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1982 Oct;63(10):462-6.

Magnetic necklace: its therapeutic effectiveness on neck and shoulder pain.

Hong CZ, Lin JC, Bender LF, Schaeffer JN, Meltzer RJ, Causin P.

The effect of the magnetic necklace on chronic neck and shoulder pain was studied on 101 volunteers, 46 males and 55 females. A double-blind method was applied on 4 divided groups (with pain vs without pain matched with magnetic vs nonmagnetic necklace). All the subjects wore the necklace 24 hours per day for 3 weeks. Subjective evaluation from the subjects with pain, either with magnetic or nonmagnetic treatment, was performed before and 3 weeks after the necklace treatment, and revealed a significant placebo effect in terms of decrease in intensity or frequency of pain. The objective tests with electrodiagnostic procedures were done before the treatment and at 3 weekly intervals. The proximal conduction time of the ulnar nerve was significantly reduced by magnetic treatment in the subjects without pain but was not changed in the subjects with pain. There was no significant change in the excitation threshold of the suprascapular nerve in all subjects. The possible mechanism of magnetic effects on pain and the prospect of magnetotherapy for pain relief in physical medicine are discussed.