What’s a “bad reaction” to manual therapy
One article on PainSci cites Carlesso 2011: Does Spinal Manipulation Work?
PainSci commentary on Carlesso 2011: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.
In 2010 Carlesso et al reported that “harms have either been neglected or poorly defined in much of the available studies on the efficacy of orthopaedic physical therapy” and the patient perspective on adverse reactions is generally neglected, making formal study difficult. How do patients define a bad reaction to therapy? By ruling out other explanations — if there’s no other obvious cause, they chalk it up to a side effect. “An overarching theme identified multiple factors that influence how the adverse event is perceived.” In other words, it’s complicated!
~ Paul Ingraham
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
Rare, serious, and common, benign adverse events (AE) are associated with MT techniques. A proposed standard for defining AE in manual therapy (MT) practise has been published but it did not include the patient perspective. Research comparing clinician and patient reporting of AE demonstrates that several differences exist; for example, the reporting of objective versus subjective events. The objective of this study was to describe how patients define AE associated with MT techniques. A descriptive qualitative design was employed. Semi-structured interviews were used with a purposive sample of patients (n = 13) receiving MT, from physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathic practises in Ontario, Canada. The interview guide was informed by existing evidence and consultation with content and methodological experts. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed by two independent team members using thematic content analysis. A key finding was that patients defined mild, moderate and major AE by pain/symptom severity, functional impact, duration and by ruling out of alternative causes. An overarching theme identified multiple factors that influence how the AE is perceived. These concepts differ from the previously proposed framework for defining AE that did not include the patient perspective. Future processes to create standard definitions or measures should include the patient viewpoint to provide a broader, client-centred foundation.
- “Adverse events associated with the use of cervical manipulation and mobilization for the treatment of neck pain in adults: A systematic review,” Carlesso et al, Manual Therapy, 2010.
- “Standardization of adverse event terminology and reporting in orthopaedic physical therapy: application to the cervical spine,” Carlesso et al, Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 2010.
- “Defining adverse events in manual therapy: an exploratory qualitative analysis of the patient perspective,” Carlesso et al, Manual Therapy, 2011.
- “A survey of patient's perceptions of what is "adverse" in manual physiotherapy and predicting who is likely to say so,” Carlesso et al, J Clin Epidemiol, 2013.
- “Adverse events and manual therapy: a systematic review,” Carnes et al, Manual Therapy, 2010.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
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- Characteristics of patients with low back and leg pain seeking treatment in primary care: baseline results from the ATLAS cohort study. Konstantinou 2015 BMC Musculoskelet Disord.
- Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of universal school-based mindfulness training compared with normal school provision in reducing risk of mental health problems and promoting well-being in adolescence: the MYRIAD cluster randomised controlled trial. Kuyken 2022 Evid Based Ment Health.
- Is there a relationship between throbbing pain and arterial pulsations? Mirza 2012 J Neurosci.