Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Shows No Long-term Benefit

Every year in the US alone, surgeons perform more than 700,000 knee arthroscopies—a procedure meant to relieve pain associated with a meniscal tear. However, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online in the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), this common surgery could be causing far more harm than good. Based on their analysis, researchers concluded that discontinuing arthroscopic surgery could prevent deep vein thrombosis and save numerous lives. To learn more about this study—and why patients should #GetPT instead—click here.

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PT and Talking Therapy May Reduce Low Back Pain Side Effects

New research indicates that a combination of physical therapy and contextual cognitive behavioral therapy (CCBT) may hold promise for patients who experience physical and psychological effects related to low back pain. The patients in this study experienced better outcomes when they participated in both types of rehabilitation, rather than one or the other. Physical therapy is a well-established, viable treatment option for back pain, but adding contextual cognitive behavioral therapy (CCBT), or “talking therapy,” to treatment plans allows patients to talk through—and sometimes even accept—their pain. Researchers noted that conducting a larger study would help determine if using the two treatments together might also reduce long-term treatment costs.


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  • This Week in PT News, March 13 Image

    articleMar 13, 2015 | 2 min. read

    This Week in PT News, March 13

    Exercise May Boost Mobility in Old Age According to researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, daily physical activity may protect motor function from deteriorating due to age-related brain damage. The study found that participants—even those showing high levels of brain damage—who exercised the most maintained their scores on movement tests. Participants with brain damage who exercised less had lower scores on the same movement tests. Dr. Sam Gandy, professor and associate director of the Mount …

  • This Week in PT News, June 5 Image

    articleJun 5, 2015 | 2 min. read

    This Week in PT News, June 5

    Depression May Lead to Low Back Pain Multiple studies now show that patients who suffer from depression are at an increased risk of developing lower back pain. Researchers analyzed a pool of data from 19 different studies, ultimately determining that symptoms of depression increased the risk of developing low back pain by around 60%. They cited multiple factors that could account for the link, including age, biological characteristics, lifestyle, and genetics. To find out more about the …

  • This Week in PT News, August 15 Image

    articleAug 15, 2014 | 1 min. read

    This Week in PT News, August 15

    Many Adolescents Suffer from Knee Pain for Several Years It’s very common for adolescents to experience “growing pains” in their knees; however, for some adolescents this pain can last for several years, according to a new study . If the knee pain is left untreated, it eventually could develop into knee osteoarthritis, says physical therapist Michael Skovdal Rathleff, PhD, of Aarhus University. The most effective treatment to combat knee pain and prevent knee osteoarthritis is to #GetPT. …

  • This Week in PT News, April 10 Image

    articleApr 10, 2015 | 1 min. read

    This Week in PT News, April 10

    Study Touts PT as Effective Treatment for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis A new study revealed that physical therapy could be just as effective as surgery in treating the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis, a common cause of lower back pain and nerve damage. Surgery for this ailment has a 15% complication rate, with half of those complications considered life-threatening. Physical therapy, on the other hand, is a low-risk treatment alternative, and study participants who nixed surgery to #GetPT …

  • This Week in PT News, October 17 Image

    articleOct 17, 2014 | 1 min. read

    This Week in PT News, October 17

    Exercise Therapy Outperforms Surgery for Patients with Meniscal Tears A new research study out of Denmark says that for patients with meniscal tears, exercise therapy can restore key functionality that arthroscopic surgery can’t. Study participants who treated their meniscal tears with an exercise therapy program experienced 16% more improvement than participants who underwent arthroscopic surgery. This represents the latest study reinforcing that you should #GetPT before considering surgery. Check it out here . Physical Therapy Key to …

  • This Week in PT News, September 12 Image

    articleSep 12, 2014 | 2 min. read

    This Week in PT News, September 12

    People Worldwide Celebrate Physical Therapy   On September 8, physical therapists around the world observed World PT Day by celebrating the value of physical therapy. To help PTs get the word out on social media, we started a campaign that allowed physical therapists to tweet about their profession—and the response was amazing. We hope physical therapists continue to tell the world about physical therapy every single day—and not limit themselves to singing the praises of PT just …

  • This Week in PT News, May 30 Image

    articleMay 30, 2014 | 1 min. read

    This Week in PT News, May 30

    Researchers Debate Back Pain Solutions In a new Washington Post article, professors, researchers, and physicians weighed in on the many treatment options for chronic back pain. Many pointed out that it’s extremely difficult for doctors to accurately diagnose back problems—let alone treat them effectively. Jay Khanna, director of the Johns Hopkins Orthopedic and Spine Surgery practice, said he tries to avoid surgery and instead recommends #physicaltherapy for back pain. Read more about the back pain debate here …

  • This Week in PT News, May 29 Image

    articleMay 29, 2015 | 2 min. read

    This Week in PT News, May 29

    Oral Steroids May Not Effectively Treat Sciatica Back Pain Researchers have discovered that prednisone, a drug commonly used to treat acute sciatica, is almost completely ineffective in reducing symptoms associated with sciatica back pain. In a randomized trial , 267 patients with herniated disks underwent a 15-day course of either Prednisone or a placebo pill. After three weeks, both groups reported experiencing less pain associated with their condition, with no difference between the participants who received the …

  • This Week in PT News, April 24 Image

    articleApr 24, 2015 | 2 min. read

    This Week in PT News, April 24

    Texas Bill Could Move PTs Closer to Total Direct Access A new bill in Texas could eliminate the need for a patient to obtain a doctor’s referral prior to receiving physical therapy services. House Bill 1263—which just passed the public health committee this week—gives physical therapists the green light to provide treatment for 45 days (or 20 visits) without a physician’s diagnosis. If enacted, this law would be great news for PTs in Texas. However, many professional …

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