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As far as APTA's science journal Physical Therapy (PTJ) is concerned, "greatest hits" collections aren't just for musicians—and it's proving that point by issuing a special collection of PTJ articles on low back pain (LBP) and neck pain, all free to the public.

Now available from PTJ: a new online-only "best of the best" issue that gathers PTJ articles from the past 2 years focused on conditions that loom large in both health care costs and clinician time. Articles reflect a range of themes and approaches, and include opinion pieces, cohort studies, and randomized controlled trials.

Some of the hits include:

Treatment-based classification systems for low back pain should include triage and consider psychosocial comorbidities. In this "Perspective" article, authors present a new and improved version of the treatment-based classification system included in the APTA clinical practice guidelines for LBP. Authors advocate for a 2-level triage process as well as the need to evaluate a patient’s psychosocial status.

Taping isn’t shown to be effective for managing spinal pain. Based on the limited research available, authors find no real support for any type of taping for a variety of spinal pain diagnoses.

Global postural re-education (GPR) can reduce pain and disability for neck pain.The randomized controlled trial found that GPR was more effective than manual therapy for patients with chronic, nonspecific neck pain.

Cognitive functional therapy is a "promising" intervention for nonspecific chronic low back pain. In a cohort study, researchers found significant reductions in pain, functional disability, and a number of psychosocial outcomes.

Trauma, osteoporosis, a back pain intensity score of ≥7, and thoracic pain are "red flags" for vertebral fracture in older adults. In patients over 75 years of age, trauma had the highest predictive value for a vertebral fracture diagnosis by their general practitioner.

The Godelieve Denys-Struyf (GDS) method was better than standard interventions for low back pain. Researchers in Spain found that this motor control intervention improved disability scores more than a control group receiving transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, microwave treatment, and standardized exercises.


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