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A Pain in the Neck

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Teaser: 

Dr. Hamilton Hall, MD, FRCSC,1 Greg McIntosh, MSc,2 Dr. Julia Alleyne, BHSc(PT), MD, CCFP, Dip. Sport Med MScCH,3 Dr. Pierre Côté, DC, PhD,4

1Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto. Medical Director, CBI Health Group, Executive Director of the Canadian Spine Society, Toronto, ON.
2Masters in Epidemiology, University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine. Director of Clinical Research for CBI Health Group and research consultant to the Canadian Spine Society.
3Family Physician practising Sport and Exercise Medicine, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network. Appointed at the University of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Associate Clinical Professor.
4Canada Research Chair in Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation; Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT); Director, UOIT-CMCC Centre for the Study of Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation.

CLINICAL TOOLS

Abstract: Neck pain is common and disabling. Associated with poor posture, sedentary work and stress it is long lasting and recurrent. Most neck pain is mechanical from the structural elements within the cervical spine and can be referred to a number of remote locations. Radicular arm dominant pain is infrequent. Neck pain is diagnosed on history and confirmed with the physical examination. Routine imaging is inappropriate and the Canadian C-spine rules are recommended. Management focuses on education, range of movement exercises with associated postural improvement and strengthening exercises; neck braces should not be used.
Key Words: cervical spine, neck pain, Canadian C-spine rules, range of movement, exercise.

Members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada may claim MAINPRO-M2 Credits for this unaccredited educational program.

www.cfpc.ca/Mainpro_M2

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Most neck pain is benign mechanical pain and serious pathology is uncommon.
Neck pain is longer lasting and more disabling than generally recognized.
Referred neck pain can be felt on top the shoulders, between the shoulder blades, along the jaw, in the front of the chest and as a headache.
Nerve root involvement is unusual but when it occurs typically affects C5, C6 or C7.
Routine imaging is unproductive.
Management is based on education, range of movement exercises and strengthening.
A careful history to locate the site of the dominant symptoms and a physical examination to assess posture and rule out radiculopathy will identify common mechanical neck pain.
The need for an x-ray should be based on the Canadian C spine rules.
Improving mechanical neck pain starts with educating the patient about the favourable prognosis and increasing the range of neck movement: a cervical collar is contraindicated.
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Obesity, Weight Loss, and Low Back Pain: An Overview for Primary Care Providers—Part 2

Obesity, Weight Loss, and Low Back Pain: An Overview for Primary Care Providers—Part 2

Members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada may claim MAINPRO-M2 Credits for this unaccredited educational program.

www.cfpc.ca/Mainpro_M2
Teaser: 

1,2Darren M. Roffey PhD; 1Simon Dagenais DC, PhD, MSc; 3Ted Findlay DO, CCFP; 4,5Travis E. Marion MD, MSc; 6Greg McIntosh MSc; 7,8Mohammed F. Shamji MD, PhD, FRCSC; 1,2,4,5Eugene K. Wai MD, MSc, FRCSC

1University of Ottawa Spine Program, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON, 2Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON,

3
Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, 4Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON, 5Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, ON, 6CBI Health Group, Toronto, ON, 7Division of Neurosurgery, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, ON,

8Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Abstract

Obesity and low back pain are equally complex medical conditions with multi-factorial etiologies. Their clinical practice guidelines both include recommendations for screening and examination that can be easily implemented. There is sufficient information to compile a framework for the primary care provider, partnering with the patient and appropriate specialists, to manage obesity and low back pain in a structured fashion. Weight loss and exercise are paramount and should be recommended as the first options. Cognitive behavioural therapy, pharmacological treatment and bariatric surgery may then be implemented sequentially depending upon the effectiveness of the initial interventions.

Key Words: Obesity, low back pain, exercise, nutrition, cognitive behavioural therapy, bariatric surgery, weight loss, pharmacological, evidence-based guideline.

After the Fall: The ABCs of Fracture Prevention

After the Fall: The ABCs of Fracture Prevention

Teaser: 

Susan B. Jaglal, PhD, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Chair, Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

A wrist fracture is associated with an increased risk of another fracture and should prompt investigation for osteoporosis in both men and women. If the fracture was caused by low trauma (a fall from a standing height or less), a bone density test should be ordered. If the T score is <–1.5, pharmacological treatment with a bisphosphonate and calcium (1,500 mg/d) and vitamin D3 (≥800 IU/d) is recommended. Management should also include balance, posture, and muscle-strengthening exercises and walking, as well as a review of fall-prevention strategies.
Key words: wrist fracture, osteoporosis, diagnosis, treatment, exercise, falls.

Alcohol and Prescription Drug Interactions Among Aging Adults

Alcohol and Prescription Drug Interactions Among Aging Adults

Teaser: 


Kristine E. Pringle, Ph.D., Health Care Consultant, First Health Services Corporation/PAPACE, Harrisburg, PA, USA.
Frank M. Ahern, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, Department of Biobehavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.
Debra A. Heller, Ph.D., Senior Health Care Consultant, First Health Services Corporation/PA-PACE, Harrisburg, PA, USA.

Many medications have the potential to interact with alcohol, and older patients may be at greater risk of experiencing adverse effects due to issues of comorbidity and polypharmacy. Even small amounts of alcohol consumed by an older person who is taking multiple medications can have serious consequences. A retrospective analysis linked prescription claim records with self-reported alcohol use. Results showed that 77% of older adults used at least one alcohol-interactive medication, and 19% of alcohol-interactive drug users reported concomitant alcohol use. Because many individuals are unaware of the risks posed by alcohol and medications, it is important for clinicians to warn patients about potential interactions.
Keywords: older adults, alcohol, prescription drug use, alcohol-drug interactions, concomitant use of alcohol and prescription drugs.

Physical Therapy and Exercise for Arthritis: Do They Work?

Physical Therapy and Exercise for Arthritis: Do They Work?

Teaser: 

Marie D.Westby, BSc(PT), PhD Candidate, Mary Pack Arthritis Program,Vancouver Coastal Health, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of British Columbia,Vancouver, BC.
Linda Li, BSc(PT), PhD, Harold Robinson/Arthritis Society Chair, Assistant Professor, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of British Columbia,Vancouver, BC.

Physiotherapy aims to prevent physical impairment and restore functional ability through the use of exercise, education, and physical modalities. While there is solid evidence supporting physical activities in the management of arthritis, inactivity continues to be a problem among both younger and older patients with arthritis as compared to the general population. Current evidence supports the effectiveness and safety of moderate- to highintensity aerobic and strengthening exercises for osteoarthritis and stable rheumatoid arthritis. Participation in recreational activities does not replace the need for therapeutic exercises. Physicians and health professionals should be equipped with strategies to overcome barriers and facilitate treatment adherence when prescribing exercise.
Keywords: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, physical therapy, exercise, physical activity.

Yoga as a Complementary Therapy

Yoga as a Complementary Therapy

Teaser: 


Marian Garfinkel, EdD, Medical Researcher and Adjunct Professor, Temple University, College of Health Professions, Department of Kinesiology; Medical Researcher, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology; Veterans Administration Hospital, Department of Rheumatology; Director, BKS Iyengar Yoga Studio of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

By broadening yoga’s application beyond stress-related ailments to include preventative and curative therapies, physicians today have an advantage in treating patients’ illnesses and disorders. Specifically, yoga therapy complements patients’ traditional medical treatment of osteoarthritis and other bone and joint disorders. Following anatomical guidelines, yoga teachers can adapt postures (asanas) to ensure patients’ organs, joints, and bones are aligned to achieve physiologic changes. Recent studies performed by this author assessing the effect of yoga therapy on rheumatic diseases, such as osteoarthritis, and repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, showed that yoga therapy caused physiologic changes, relieved pain, and improved motion.
Key words: osteoarthritis, yoga, Iyengar, exercise, repetitive strain injuries.

Screening for and Prescribing Exercise for Older Adults

Screening for and Prescribing Exercise for Older Adults

Teaser: 


Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, Professor, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH, Professor, Social and Behavioral Health; Director, Active for Life National Program Office, School of Rural Public Health, The Texas A & M University System, College Station, TX, USA.
Michael E. Rogers, PhD, CSCS, FACSM, Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Sport Studies, Center for Physical Activity and Aging, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, USA.
Phillip Page, MS, PT, ATC, CSCS, Manager, Clinical Education & Research, The Hygenic Corporation, Akron, OH, USA.
Roseann M. Lyle, PhD, Purdue University, Department of Health and Kinesiology, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
Cody Sipe, MS, Program Director, A.H. Ismail Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, PhD, Professor, Department Head of Kinesiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
Terry L. Bazzarre, PhD, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ, USA.

Physical activity helps to maintain function, health, and overall quality of life for older adults. It is challenging, however, for health care providers and others who work with older adults to know what type of activity to encourage older adults to engage in, and how to motivate them to initiate and adhere to physical activity and exercise over time. The purpose of this piece is to provide an overview of physical activity for older adults and provide the resources needed to evaluate older adults and help them establish safe and appropriate physical activity programs, as well as providing motivational interventions that will eliminate the barriers to exercise and optimize the benefits.
Key words: exercise, screening, motivation, self-efficacy, outcome expectations.

The Evaluation and Treatment of Low Back Pain in Older Adults

The Evaluation and Treatment of Low Back Pain in Older Adults

Teaser: 


Arto Herno, MD, PhD, Senior Consultant, Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.

The degeneration of the lumbar spine is strongly associated with aging, but this does not mean that pain is an unavoidable accompaniment (though the recorded incidence of low back pain suggests otherwise). Recently, more attention has been drawn to the problem of changes related to the aging of our musculoskeletal system and the associated socioeconomic implications. We now have advanced equipment to examine patients and our store of knowledge is enormous, but the application of this knowledge to a working practical plan at the individual level is problematic. Understanding the automatism of the normal function of the lumbar spine is essential for treating mechanical low back pain because the main goal is to correct this functional disorder. However, the long-term goal of treatment should be to involve patients in their back disorder management.

Key words: aging, degeneration, lumbar spine, low back pain, exercise.

Translating Evidence into Clinical Practice: A Falls Prevention Program for Community-Dwelling Seniors

Translating Evidence into Clinical Practice: A Falls Prevention Program for Community-Dwelling Seniors

Teaser: 

Susan Maddock, RPT, Specialized Geriatric Services, Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Susan Gal, BScPE, BHScPT, Specialized Geriatric Services, Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

MaryJane McIntyre, BScPT, Specialized Geriatric Services, Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Rory H. Fisher, MB, FRCP(Ed)(C), Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Barbara A. Liu, MD, FRCPC, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto; Program Director, Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

The Falls Prevention Program at Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Sciences Centre was developed to provide patients with an evidence-based, multidisciplinary intervention to prevent falls. The goals of the program are to decrease the incidence of falls and improve patient confidence. Participants in the program are 65 or older with a history of falls or near-falls and are living in the community. Participants complete a 45-minute exercise circuit, twice a week for six weeks. In addition, patients undergo geriatric medical assessment and are seen by an occupational therapist for home safety education. Patients report fewer falls during the intervention and at follow-up, and subjectively report that they benefit from the program. The positive effects of this program support existing evidence that multidisciplinary intervention plays an important role in fall prevention.

Key words: falls prevention, older adults, exercise, balance, multidisciplinary, physiotherapy.

CME: Stepwise Approach to the Treatment of Diabetes in the Older Adult

CME: Stepwise Approach to the Treatment of Diabetes in the Older Adult

Teaser: 


The accredited CME learning activity based on this article is offered under the auspices of the CE department of the University of Toronto. Participating physicians are entitled to one (1) MAINPRO-M1 credit by completing this program, found online at www.geriatricsandaging.ca/cme.htm

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a very common condition in the older population. The disease may interact with other medical conditions that increase the degree of frailty in aging adults. Nonpharmacological and pharmacological interventions are the usual steps in managing of DM. In this article, a stepwise treatment strategy will be suggested after a review of the pertinent literature.

Key words: diabetes mellitus, older adult, diet, exercise, pharmacotherapy.

Daniel Tessier MD, MSc, Head of Geriatric Services, Sherbrooke Geriatric University Institute, Sherbrooke, QC.