Thursday, August 9, 2007
PT professors create text based on their research
John Krauss and Doug Creighton, assistant professors of physical therapy in Oakland University’s School of Health Sciences, published the text “Translatoric Spinal Manipulation for Physical Therapists,” based on research of techniques taught at OU. They have conducted a number of case studies that will be used in future editions and have received grants to conduct more research in the area of translatoric spinal manipulation.
“In physical therapy, there is a lot of emphasis on evidence-based practice in spinal manipulation and mobilization,” Krauss said. “We looked at what we teach and how we practice this technique and there was really no good resource. We wanted to develop a template for people to refer to in practice. This was also the first step in the development of our research.”
The book is designed for both entry-level and post-professional physical therapists. The organization of the book includes clear labeling for the levels that the skill applies to. The book also includes a DVD which demonstrate the manipulation techniques. The text has been adopted as the official text of the translatoric spinal manipulation technique by Kaltenborn-Evjenth International, a manual therapy-focused educational group teaching in more than 12 countries worldwide.
Olaf Evjenth worked with Krauss and Creighton on the book. He is the principle originator of the translatoric spinal manipulation technique. Evjenth, who is 81 years old, developed the technique over his 50 plus years of clinical experience. Krauss and Creighton have been in clinical practice looking at the strengths and weaknesses of it.
Through case reports and case series studies, Creighton and Krauss are able to provide statistics on the effectiveness of the technique and describe why the technique works.
The vertebral artery runs through the neck to the brain. Creighton said each year, people tear these arteries due to certain forms of manipulation that include quick neck turns. Using translatoric spinal manipulation, the effects on the artery are minimal.
“These types of manipulations are very safe,” Creighton said. “We’ve used diagnostic ultrasound to look at the impact of the techniques on the neck and how the manipulation stresses neck tissue. The ultrasound showed no change in blood flow through the artery.”
Creighton and Krauss have received a grant to perform a larger randomized study of the effectiveness of the technique. Currently, the study is in the data collection phase with clinics across the United States and one in Norway collecting data until next year. Creighton said the outcome data will measure pain improvement, movement improvement and functionality improvement.
“Our agenda will be to collect and examine this type of data for all areas of the back, including the thoracic, or middle back, and lumbar, or lower back,” Creighton said.
OU students have also been able to get involved with the research. The entry-level physical therapy students work on pilot studies and help set up research that can then be conducted by post-professional students who have greater access to patients.
“Our graduates predominantly practice in Michigan. They stay connected to us and we mentor them in the process of research. This allows us to expand our opportunities for data collection through the use of community partnerships,” Krauss said. “We are trying to create a learning and research community with the nucleus at Oakland.”
Krauss and Creighton plan to work on a new edition of the book that will incorporate the research they have completed since it was first published in 2006.
For more information on OU’s physical therapy program, visit the Physical Therapy Web site.