New Week, New Science

Today we’re making Bill Nye proud and diving into some new science, and new ways to treat. At Health Place, we make learning for our therapists a priority – from new research, to new techniques to even refreshers. This week we’ve got some cool new articles – summarized by Vanessa to keep you in the loop → check it out. We’ve got headache cures, the sides of pain we don’t see, and pregnancy positions to help your massage!

Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Got a headache that just doesn’t seem to disappear? Well a new trending therapy; non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS), shows promise for migraine and cluster headaches. Primary headache disorders are a leading cause of disease and disability worldwide. The purpose of the study was to assess the effectiveness of cervical VNS (CnVNS) in treating primary headache disorders. The most common application of nVNS is an electro stimulation device (gammaCore; electroCore) which the patient holds against their neck (where the vagus nerve is located) for short periods throughout the day.  Hundreds of articles were reviewed. Six trials including 983 patients were focused on primarily. Overall, the primary outcomes were positive; a reduction in headache days, and pain free status within 30 mins. It can therefore be said that CnVNS is an effective means of treating migraine and cluster headache. Who knew?

Biopsychosocial pain studies

What if i told you pain wasn’t just in your nerves and muscles, but in your relationships and community? Current research recommends a biopsychosocial approach in addressing musculo-skeletal pain. Traditionally physiotherapists have taken a structural/ biomechanical approach to treatment. However, the need to address an individual’s pain experience and the impact it has on many aspects of their life (physical, psychological, social, lifestyle factors) is paramount to their rehabilitation. The article addressed the need to implement pain coping skills. This can be addressed through education in pain science, healthy sleep habits, healthy diet, breaking down unhelpful personal/ commonly held beliefs about musculo-skeletal pain (i.e. simply rest when injured). Physiotherapy, Myotherapy and other Musculo-skeletal therapies are fast seeing the importance of shifting to this approach. 

Remedial massage during pregnancy   

If you’ve got a bun in the oven (or trying to get baking), this article discusses the findings of pregnancy massage and ideal positioning for pregnant women. Massage therapy is a complementary therapy often sought by pregnant women. It can assist women during their pregnancy, in preparation for labor and postpartum care. Massage during pregnancy has shown to improve pain experience, headaches, muscle cramps, sleep, stress reduction, depression and anxiety. Prone lying on a support pillow can provide optimal comfort and safety for the woman as it will reduce pressure on the chest and abdomen. Side lying position can provide additional comfort to the client and optimise cardiac function and oxygen delivery to the fetus. It may also provide a psychological benefit to the client. The efficacy of a pregnancy massage is based on the skills and qualifications of the therapist – and we’ve got plenty of amazing therapists to help you and your bub.