|Changes in pressure pain threshold and temporal summation in rapid responders and non-rapid responders after lumbar spinal manipulation and sham: A secondary analysis in adults with low back pain
from Musculoskeletal Science and Practice
People with LBP who experience rapid improvement in symptoms after spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) are more likely to experience better longer-term outcomes compared to those who don't improve rapidly. It is unknown if short-term hypoalgesia after SMT could be a relevant finding in rapid responders.
Researchers aimed to explore whether rapid responders had different short-term pressure pain threshold (PPT) and temporal summation (TS) outcomes after SMT and sham compared to non-rapid responders.
This was a planned secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial that recruited 80 adults with LBP (42 females, mean age 37 yrs). PPT at the calf, lumbar spine, and shoulder and TS at the hands and feet were measured before and three times over 30 minutes after a lumbar SMT or sham manipulation. Participants were classified as rapid responders or non-rapid responders based on self-reported change in LBP over the following 24 hours.
Shoulder PPT transiently increased more in the rapid responders than non-rapid responders immediately post-intervention only (between-group difference in change from baseline = 0.29 kg/cm2, 95% CI 0.02–0.56, P = .0497). There were no differences in calf PPT, lumbar PPT, hand TS, or foot TS based on responder status.
Hypoalgesia in shoulder PPT occurred transiently in the rapid responders compared to the non-rapid responders. This may or may not contribute to symptomatic improvement after SMT or sham in adults with LBP, and may be a spurious finding. Short-term changes in TS do not appear to be related to changes in LBP.
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