Harvard Health Publications reports that seven in ten people will struggle with some type of neck pain during the course of their lives, with one out of ten individuals actively in pain at any given time.
This issue alone costs Americans and their insurance companies $90 billion annually according to an article in Physician’s Weekly. And that was back in 2013, so just imagine what that number is now.
These numbers highlight that this particular health issue is a major problem for a large majority of the population, both physically and financially. It also makes the findings of one specific pilot study hopeful for the many individuals intent on finding some much needed relief.
Of course, understanding the results of this study first requires understanding the instrument being tested—the Spineliner—and what it does. According to its website, the “Spineliner is an electronic assistant which therapists use for the analysis and therapy of the musculoskeletal system” and it works by providing the therapist with the ability to physically see musculoskeletal frequencies (and their abnormalities) on the machine’s screen in real time.
Furthermore, when using this particular instrument, “the treatment stops automatically as soon as the optimal resonance level is reached” according to the website, a feature that benefits doctor and patient alike. While it’s available for purchase straight from Austria or by using an American-based provider such as Sigma Instruments (which is headquartered out of Pennsylvania), you may still have some reservations about ordering this type of advanced equipment until you learn how well it works.
Well, that was exactly what this one study set out to discover.
Pilot study involving the Spineliner
In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, Thomas Rustler, MD, from the Department of Orthopedic Pain Therapy at the Orthopedic Hospital Vienna-Speising and Hans Tilscher, MD, from Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Conservative Orthopedics in Austria wanted to know just how efficient the Spineliner actually was at relieving chronic neck pain via its Oscillating Percussion Technique.
To find the answer, Rustler and Tilscher studied 51 patients with chronic neck issues, 33 of which were female and 18 of whom were male, with a median age of 54 years. For purposes of this study, some of the participants were assigned to a control group where they received sham treatments based on sham examination readings.
Others were assigned to an actual treatment group in which the Spineliner was used to perform one sole treatment which was provided by a blinded orthopedic physician.
To determine the effects, all individuals were examined at three different intervals: prior to the actual or sham treatment, immediately following the actual or sham treatment, and again one week later. Measurements at all of these times were recorded via the SF 36 Health Survey, the NDI Neck Disability Score, a 1-0-1 numeric neck pain rating scale, and by assessing patients’ cervical range of motion using a Goniometer.
Immediately after the single treatment session, the researchers found that “the patients who received treatment with the Spineliner showed statistically significant improvements in neck pain and range of motion.” Furthermore, positive benefits in range of motion remained one week after the session occurred, causing the doctors leading the study to conclude that “Treatment with the Spineliner, using the Oscillating Percussion Technique is effective in order to improve ROM and to reduce pain as short term effects.”
While the doctors do suggest further studies be conducted to help determine the long-term effects of the Spineliner, this is encouraging news for the millions of people who will be inevitably sidelined by a neck injury at some point in their lives.