Australian Physiotherapists Leading the World in Research.

Physiologix Therapy Solutions prides itself on having experienced staff with a high level of expertise.  They utilize the most up to date, hands on and exercise treatment skills. A component of this is being involved in research.  This newsletter updates you on three major research trials in which Physiologix is currently involved and the evidence that has emerged from these trials thus far.  Several of these trials will help to provide information that will be world leading in providing direction of the best treatment strategies of certain conditions. Australian physiotherapists are at the cutting edge of musculoskeletal research, and it is exciting to have this practice, here in The Gap, so involved.

The Leap Study, or Lateral Hip Pain Study has been run by the University of Melbourne in conjunction with UQ. Tendinopathy of the gluteus medius and minimus tendons have now been recognized as the primary local source of pain over the outside of the hip.  Gluteal tendinopathy is the most prevalent lower limb tendinopathy, substantially impacting quality of life. People struggle to walk, especially up stairs or hills. They often cant lie on their side so struggle to sleep Changes in lateral hip pain of tendinopathic cause is being studied in response to three different interventions: physiotherapy exercises, corticosteroid injection, and a control group with very little intervention. The trial is still ongoing, however, initial findings have already provided much needed knowledge on what assessment tests are most accurate in diagnosis of this condition. It is thought that corticosteroid injections may be of no benefit long term, and may even damage the tendon. This study aims to ascertain if physiotherapy exercises may in fact result in better recovery long term.

The Hope Study is run by Melbourne University. This study is comparing different treatment options for people over 50 years of age with persistent hip pain to find out which one works best and why. Participants are randomly allocated to one of two groups. Each group receives five physiotherapy exercise sessions and a home exercise program, and in addition will have access to two different forms of education online. 5 sessions were chosen to correlate with the 5 Medicare sessions available to patients with a chronic condition (ask your GP to find out more). The sessions, spread over several months, focus on strength exercises of muscles around the hip, as well as exercises to help balance and flexibility. A large emphasis is on the patient completing home exercises just 3 times a week. Early suggestions are that this is sufficient to gain good results.

The FoxQ trial, run by the University of Queensland is looking at the best way to treat pain at the front of the knee caused by the kneecap. This is know as patello-femoral pain. The debate about the therapeutic use of orthotics versus hip exercises for anterior knee pain is a hotly contested debate, not just between physios, but between a multitude of sports medicine and allied health professionals.  Some people may have more mobile flat feet – this group may respond better to orthotics. Other people are very weak around the hip and may respond more to hip exercises. This is what the trial is trying to establish. Patients are catagorised into 2 groups. The hip exercise group focus on an intense few weeks of hip strengthening exercises overseen by the Physio. The orthotics group see the Physio for custom fitting of prefabricated orthotics and are then reviewed. It will be very exciting to hear the results of this trial.