Physical Therapy Perspectives In The 21st Century Challenges And Possibilities

by Josette Bettany-Saltikov

Physical Therapy Perspectives In The 21st Century Challenges And Possibilities Author Josette Bettany Saltikov Isbn 978 953 51 0459 9 File size 17 2 MB Year 2012 Pages 398 Language English File format PDF Category Medicine This book contains new information on physical therapy research and clinical approaches that are being undertaken into numerous medical conditions biomechanical and musculoskeletal conditions as well as the effects of psychological factors body awareness and relaxation techniques specific and specialist exercises for the treatment of scoliosis and s

Publisher :

Author : Josette Bettany-Saltikov

ISBN : 978 953 51 0459 9

Year : 2012

Language: English

File Size : 17.2 MB

Category : Medicine

Physical Therapy Perspectives in the 21st Century – Challenges and Possibilities
Edited by Josette Bettany-Saltikov and Berta Paz-Lourido

Published by InTech
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First published April, 2012
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Physical Therapy Perspectives in the 21st Century – Challenges and Possibilities, Edited by
Josette Bettany-Saltikov and Berta Paz-Lourido
p. cm.
ISBN 978-953-51-0459-9

Preface IX
Part 1

Physical Therapy for Scoliosis and Spinal Deformities in
Infants, Adolescents and Adults 1

Chapter 1

Physical Therapy for Adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis
Josette Bettany-Saltikov, Tim Cook, Manuel Rigo,
Jean Claude De Mauroy, Michele Romano, Stefano Negrini,
Jacek Durmala, Ana del Campo, Christine Colliard,
Andrejz M'hango and Marianna Bialek

Chapter 2

Kyphosis Physiotherapy from Childhood to Old Age
Jean Claude de Mauroy

Chapter 3

A Review of Non-Invasive Treatment Interventions
for Spinal Deformities 67
Clare Lewis

Part 2


Physical Therapy for Biomechanical and
Musculoskeletal Conditions 89

Chapter 4

An Overview on the Efficacy of
Manual Therapy (Manipulations and Mobilisations)
on Nonspecific Cervical Pain:
A Systematic Review in Adults 91
José Antonio Mirallas Martínez

Chapter 5

Use of Physiotherapeutic Methods to Influence
the Position of Foot 107
Eva BuchtelovĂĄ

Chapter 6

Effectiveness of Passive Joint Mobilisation for
Shoulder Dysfunction: A Review of the Literature
Judy Chen





Part 3

Use of Cryotherapy and Thermotherapy
in Physical Therapy 153

Chapter 7

Cryotherapy: Physiological Considerations
and Applications to Physical Therapy 155
Anna Lubkowska

Chapter 8

Natural Wool Fabrics in Physiotherapy 177
Krzysztof Gieremek and Wojciech Cieƛla

Part 4

Chapter 9

Characteristics of Physical Therapy Interventions with
Elderly Patients at Home and Within Clinical Settings 195
Home Physiotherapy: The Relevance of Social Determinants
of Health in the Development of Physiotherapy
in the Home Environment 197
Berta Paz-Lourido

Chapter 10

Functional Challenges in Elderly 219
A. C. Tavares and G. V. GuimarĂŁes

Chapter 11

Evidence-Based Management in the Rehabilitation of
Osteoporotic Patients with Fragility Fractures 233
Umberto Tarantino, Irene Cerocchi, Federico Maria Liuni,
Pietro Pistillo, Cecilia Rao and Monica Celi

Part 5

Effects of Psychological Factors, Body Awareness
and Relaxation Techniques in
Physical Therapy Interventions 249

Chapter 12

Focus on Psychological Factors and Body Awareness in
Multimodal Musculoskeletal Pain Rehabilitation 251
G. Gard

Chapter 13

Relaxation Techniques and States –
Applications to Physical Therapy 263
Leslaw Kulmatycki

Part 6

Physical Therapy Interventions in Patients with Respiratory
and Cardiovascular Disorders 281

Chapter 14

Effect of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Weaning Success in
Critically Ill Intubated Patients 283
Samåria Cader, Rodrigo Vale and Estélio Dantas

Chapter 15

Lipedema 305
GyƑzƑ Szolnoky


Part 7

Physical Therapy for Patients with Stroke


Chapter 16

Running a Complementary Stroke Rehabilitation
and Aftercare Program:
Experiences of Four European Centres 315
Wilfried Schupp, Napasakorn Komaratat and Simon Steib

Chapter 17

Group Circuit Class Therapy for Stroke Survivors A Review of the Evidence and Clinical Implications
Coralie English, Ingrid van de Port and Elizabeth Lynch

Part 8

Chapter 18

Physical Therapy and New Concepts of
Wheelchair Design 369
Reaching the Independence: Challenges to
a New Concept of Wheelchair Design 371
Fausto Orsi Medola, Carlos Alberto Fortulan,
Carla da Silva Santana and Valeria Meirelles Carril Elui



We are very excited to introduce the first InTech book dedicated to advancements in
the field of physical therapy. Indeed in the last few decades physical therapists have
made great strides in advancing both the research knowledge base within physical
therapy whilst at the same time making significant improvements in clinical practice.
In our society today physical therapists face continuous challenges related to the
advancement of physical therapy practice, medicine and technology in addition to the
effects of the global economic downturn. An ongoing challenge for the profession is
the need to underpin physical therapy practice with the best available evidence. For
the past five decades, physical therapy has been a burgeoning science as evidenced by
the numerous national and international physical therapy organisations to be found
The aim of this book is not to cover all areas of research and practice in physical
therapy. There are many emerging contexts that require the intervention of physical
therapists and it is not possible to include all of them within a limited space. We
consider that this book highlights a number of key aspects related to the way that
physical therapy is currently contributing to better overall health of citizens
everywhere who are suffering from numerous diverse medical conditions. Because of
this, different topics and research approaches will be found within this book, ranging
from very specific interventions to broader concepts within physical therapy practice
that consider the social determinants of health.
As this book will demonstrate, many researchers throughout the world are
contributing greatly to our understanding of the use of a range of diverse physical
therapy approaches for a wide array of medical conditions. More recently, increasing
and innovative contributions have been made by physical therapists worldwide
towards this important enterprise. They are also providing strong evidence to support
the benefits of exercise to both avoid and treat acute and chronic diseases.
This book contains new information on physical therapy research and clinical
approaches that are being undertaken into numerous medical conditions;
biomechanical and musculoskeletal conditions as well as the effects of psychological
factors, body awareness and relaxation techniques; specific and specialist exercises for



the treatment of scoliosis and spinal deformities in infants and adolescents; new
thermal agents are being introduced and different types of physical therapy
interventions are being introduced for the elderly both in the home and clinical setting.
Additionally research into physical therapy interventions for patients with respiratory,
cardiovascular disorders and stroke is being undertaken and new concepts of
wheelchair design are being implemented.
Our hope is that this book will become an important compendium and resource for
physical therapists who treat a wide array of clinical conditions. Additionally, we hope
these reviews will act to stimulate researchers throughout the world to continue this
important work and solve persistent clinical questions posed by physical therapy
researchers and clinicians worldwide.

Dr. Josette Bettany-Saltikov
Teesside University, Middlesbrough
Dr. Berta Paz-Lourido
University of the Balearic Islands

Part 1
Physical Therapy for Scoliosis
and Spinal Deformities in
Infants, Adolescents and Adults

Physical Therapy for Adolescents
with Idiopathic Scoliosis
Josette Bettany-Saltikov1 et al.*

University, Middlesbrough,

1. Introduction
Scoliosis is a three-dimensional deformity of the spine. In its most common form,
idiopathic scoliosis (70% to 80% of cases), the causes are unknown (Rowe 2003). AIS is
discovered at 10 years of age or older, and is defined as a curve of at least 10°, measured
on a standing radiograph using the Cobb technique (Parent et al, 2005). While the
prevalence of AIS is around 3% in the general population, almost 10% of those diagnosed
with AIS will require some form of treatment; usually observation or scoliosis-specific
exercises (SSE) for mild curves, braces for moderate curves and spinal surgery for severe
curves (Cobb angle >500). Up to 0.1% of the population is at risk of requiring surgery
(Lonstein, 2006). A severe form of AIS is more commonly found in females. Typically, AIS
does not cause any health problems during growth (except for extreme cases). However,
the resulting surface deformity frequently has a negative impact on adolescents` bodyimage and self-esteem that can give rise to quality of life (QoL) issues and in worst cases,
psychological disturbances (Maclean et al, 1989). Adolescent patients are generally treated
in an attempt to halt the progressive nature of the deformity. No treatments succeed in
full correction to a normal spine, and even reduction of the deformity is difficult
(Danielson and Nachemson, 2001). If scoliosis surpasses a critical threshold, usually
considered to be 30Âș Cobb, at the end of growth, the risk of health and social problems in
adulthood increases significantly (Negrini, 2005). Problems include reduced quality of
life, disability, pain, increased cosmetic deformity, functional limitations, sometimes
* Tim Cook2, Manuel Rigo3, Jean Claude De Mauroy4, Michele Romano5, Stefano Negrini5,
Jacek Durmala6, Ana del Campo2, Christine Colliard2, Andrejz M'hango7 and Marianna Bialek7
1Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK
2SpineCorporation, UK, Spain
3Elena Salva Institute, Barcelona, Spain
4Clinique du Parc – Lyon, France
5Italian Spine Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy
6Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
7Fits Institute, Poland


Physical Therapy Perspectives in the 21st Century – Challenges and Possibilities

pulmonary problems, and progression during adulthood (Weinstein et al, 2003). Because
of this, management of scoliosis also includes the prevention of secondary problems
associated with the deformity.
1.1 Current consensus and clinical practices
The level of evidence in the conservative management of AIS is not high, whatever
treatment is considered. Treatments applied in this field include surgery (fusion), bracing
and/or exercises. In the past electrical stimulation has also been used but without significant
results; other treatments not recommended by the current guidelines (Weiss et al, 2006)
include manipulations and insoles. The existing evidence concerning these treatments,
which is classified according to the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (Philips et
al, 2001), can be summarized as follows: scoliosis-specific exercises (SSE) can be
recommended as a first step in the treatment of AIS to avoid and/or limit curve progression
(grade A); bracing is recommended when SSE`s are unable to prevent progression (grade B);
and surgical fusion is the unavoidable treatment when AIS is either causing symptoms
(rarely), conservative treatment has failed or a well-informed patient requests fusion (grade
C recommendation) (Weinstein et al,2008).
Considering the evidence, the treatment approaches adopted by various orthopaedic
surgeons and physicians specialised in the field of conservative management of scoliosis are
divided indicating a lack of clinical equipoise across the professions and different countries.
In general these approaches can grossly be split into two opposing groups: the first group
regard the exercises as useless, while the second group use them and advocate their efficacy
(Negrini et al, 2005). Similarly, bracing has been abandoned by some (Dolan and Weinstein,
2007) while others support its use on the basis of the existing weak evidence about efficacy;
fusion is generally considered to be necessary when AIS either exceeds a certain degree,
previous treatments have failed or AIS causes symptoms, but indications vary widely
according to the preference or not of the treating physician/surgeon for conservative
management (Dolan and Weinstein, 2007). These two conflicting approaches seem to prevail
in two different regions of the world: while in the US and UK, the wait and see strategy
prevails, in various parts of continental Europe, Eastern and Southern Europe conservative
treatment (SSE`s and bracing) is considered to be of benefit to the patient and used routinely
by the large majority of scoliosis physicians and surgeons.
A possible reason for the negative beliefs towards SSE within the clinical community in the
United Kingdom is the lack of knowledge within the physical therapy community and
associated clinical specialists. These pathological condition-specific exercises are not taught at
either undergraduate or post-graduate level within the physiotherapy curriculum in the UK.
Most clinicians (both physiotherapists and surgeons) in the UK normally do not appreciate the
difference between SSE and general physiotherapy. Scoliosis-specific exercises consist of
individually adapted exercises that are taught to patients in a centre that is totally dedicated to
scoliosis treatment. The patients learn an exercise protocol that is personalized according to
medical and physiotherapeutic evaluations. Usual generalised physiotherapy (GPT), on the
other hand, is more generic, usually consisting of low-impact stretching and strengthening
activities like yoga, pilates or tai chi (taiji), but can include many different exercise protocols

Physical Therapy for Adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis


according to the preferences of the therapist. The understanding within the generalised AIS
treating community in the UK and USA may be based on the effectiveness of generalised
physiotherapy which has not been shown to be effective.
1.2 Quantity and quality of the research to date and their limitations
Recent systematic reviews (Negrini et al, 2009) have shown the possible effects of SSE`s on
scoliosis primarily in terms of Cobb angle, based on controlled studies, which were mainly
observational and partly prospective. A Cochrane Review (Romano et al, 2009) (co-authored
by 3 of the current authors: Bettany-Saltikov, Negrini and Romano) on the effectiveness of
scoliosis-specific exercises for patients with idiopathic scoliosis (currently being peerreviewed) found that, despite a comprehensive search of published and unpublished
literature, only two studies met the stringent Cochrane methodological criteria. Of these only
one was a randomised controlled trial; this trial compared a protocol of exercises,
electrostimulation, traction and postural training (Wan et al, 2005) to a protocol of
electrostimulation, traction and postural training. This study provided very low quality
evidence in favour of SSE`s versus the same protocol without exercises. More recently, a
prospective controlled cohort study comparing the SEAS exercises versus usual physiotherapy
(Negrini et al, 2008b), also provided very low quality evidence in favour of SEAS exercises.
The outcome most frequently used across previous studies was the Cobb angle; only Negrini’s
study considered the more patient-centred outcome of brace avoidance as a main outcome.
Further, another systematic review that also included observational trials was conducted
by Negrini et al in 2008 as an update to a previous review conducted in 2003. This review
was included in the DARE Cochrane Database (Negrini et al, 2003c). 19 studies were
retrieved, including one RCT and eight controlled studies; 12 studies were prospective. In
total the 19 papers included considered 1654 patients and 688 controls in all. The highestquality study (RCT) compared two groups of 40 patients, showing an improvement of
curvature in all patients in the intervention group after six months. Apart from one old
study (conducted in 1979 and of very low methodological quality using general
physiotherapy, not SSE), all studies confirmed the efficacy of scoliosis-specific exercises in
reducing the progression rate (mainly in early puberty) and/or improving the Cobb angles
(around the end of growth). SSE`s were also shown to be effective at reducing brace
prescription. Although the authors of this review concluded that the current evidence on
exercises for AIS is of level 1b, the only RCT reported within the review had a number of
serious methodological issues. This raises the need for a well conducted RCT.
The aims of Scoliosis-Specific Exercises considered in various research protocols to date
include: limiting or halting scoliosis progression, improving physical functioning and
reducing scoliosis patients` disability and avoiding more invasive methods of treatment
such as bracing. In the worst patients (fused, or elderly in a flexed posture) pulmonary
rehabilitation has also been considered. If scoliosis does progress beyond a certain critical
threshold (generally considered to be 30 degrees), bracing is generally considered (by
physicians or surgeons who normally believe in bracing) to be the subsequent step of
treatment with the aim of avoiding surgery. Nevertheless, it has been shown that braces
have psychological consequences on adolescents during a crucial pubertal period of spinal
growth when relationships with the opposite gender are generally initiated and body selfimage and self-esteem develops (Falstrom et al,1986). Surgery has also been shown to have a


Physical Therapy Perspectives in the 21st Century – Challenges and Possibilities

significant psychological impact, as well as causing considerable functional limitations due
to the fusion of the spine (Hawes 2006b). Hence, there is a promising role for therapeutic
scoliosis-specific exercises, that do not have any unwanted psychological consequences.
The International Scientific Society On Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment
(SOSORT) has proposed and supports the use of SSEs and gives indications for their use
(Weiss et al, 2006). Furthermore and most importantly, scoliosis-specific exercises based on
specific auto-correction and stabilization are also supported by a recent consensus of
specialists in the field of the conservative management of scoliosis (Weiss et al, 2006).
Numerous scoliosis-specific exercise approaches to the treatment of mild to moderate scoliosis
are available. The following SSE approaches that will be discussed in this chapter include;
The Scientific Exercise Approach to Scoliosis (SEAS), written by M.Romano and S. Negrini;
The Barcelona Scoliosis Physical Therapy approach (BSPTS), written by Dr. Manuel Rigo; The
Lyon approach, written by Dr. Jean Claude De Mauroy; The Functional Individual Therapy for
Scoliosis (FITS) approach, written by Andrejz Mhango and Marianna Bialek; The DoboMed
approach, written by Prof. Jacek Durmala; and finally the SpineCor approach, written by Ana
del Campo and Dr. C Coillard. Each approach will now be discussed in turn.

2. SEAS approach (Italy)
2.1 Introduction
SEAS is an acronym for “Scientific Exercise Approach to Scoliosis”. The name indicates that
this approach is based on scientific principles, which is a very important feature of this
treatment approach. The continuous improvements and developments to the original method
results from the constant introduction of new knowledge derived from the scientific literature.
2.2 History of the SEAS method
The SEAS method originates from the Lyon approach where a number of the basic
characteristics to the approach had already been developed. This includes: improving the
patient’s awareness of their deformity, autonomous correction by the patient, the use of
exercises to stimulate a balance reaction, as well as the performance of in-brace scoliosis
specific exercises using the brace as a training tool (Romano et al, 2008).
2.3 Principles of the SEAS method
The difficulty with treating patients with idiopathic scoliosis is the impossibility of working
directly on the cause of the deformity, which is still unclear. Each type of treatment whether
surgery, bracing, or scoliosis-specific exercise (SSE), is aimed at minimizing the effects of the
symptoms of the disease. In the SEAS approach the two main treatment objectives are active
self-correction as well as the improvement of spinal stability. The self-correction component
can be defined as the search for the best possible alignment within three dimensional spatial
planes, that are obtained autonomously by the patient.
These are some assumptions the form the basis of the SEAS approach:
Conservative treatment of scoliosis has the aim of preventing the progressive deformation of
the vertebrae, caused by the constant asymmetric pressure on them.

Physical Therapy for Adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis


The self-correction obtained by the active movement of the patient lasts for the duration of
this movement.
Even using very demanding treatment approaches that involve performing exercises for
several hours a day it is not possible to maintain the correct position after the exercise
sessions finishes.
The purpose of the SEAS exercises is therefore to find a strategy that helps the patient search
for the position of self-correction, as they move throughout the day during their usual
activities of daily living. In our concept, this can only be done by developing a specific reflex
neuromotor spinal reaction, that when performing different destabilizing everyday activities
drive the spine toward corrections instead of postural collapse.
For this reason, an essential aspect of self-correction, structured according to the SEAS
approach, is that this movement has to be performed in a local `direct’ manner: ‘direct’
means a self-correction performed by the patient focusing only on moving the spine,
without any external aids (supports, specific body positions
) or movements of other
body parts (limbs, head
According to the SEAS approach the execution of an “indirect” self-correction movement
does not achieve the aim on which this concept is based, i.e. moving from the “search of the
best passive alignment” to the “functional stimulation of the alignment reflex”. In fact,
neurophysiologically, an active self-performed movement can be integrated into motor
behaviours (“alignment reflex”) better then passive ones; moreover, as we will see below, an
active self-correction can be “challenged” in many very different situations (exercises)
simulating real everyday life (“functional stimulation”) which is better than specific static
positions requiring specific supports.
2.4 Description of the SEAS approach
During the execution of an "active" self-correction we can see:
Appreciable improvement of the aesthetic component of the trunk.
Improvement of the plumbline and the weight distribution (also of the peripheral joints).
Improvement of the postural component.

Fig. 1. Before Active Self Correction.


Physical Therapy Perspectives in the 21st Century – Challenges and Possibilities

Fig. 2. After Active Self Correction.
The modifications are not only postural but also measurable on X-Ray. SEAS exercises focus
on the three primary principles, listed below in relation to their importance.

Fig. 3. Before Active Self Correction.

Fig. 4. After Active Self Correction.

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