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Clinical effectiveness of the activator adjusting instrument in the management of musculoskeletal disorders: a systematic review of the literature.

Introduction

With the notable exception of the manual Diversified technique, which involves high velocity and low amplitude (HVLA) thrusting spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) (also commonly referred to as spinal adjustments), the therapeutic intervention most commonly used for patient care by chiropractors is instrumented-adjusting using the Activator Adjusting Instrument (AAI). According to the 2005 National Board of Chiropractic Examiner's (NBCE) Job Analysis (1) 51.2% of American chiropractors report using the AAI for patient care, although this data does not differentiate between those practitioners who use the AAI only (often as a substitute for HVLA manipulation) from those practitioners who use the Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique (AMCT), a technique system that involves a group of specialized diagnostic procedures during prone leg length checking. (2) [The 2005 NBCE Job Analysis is the most recent source of information on the rates of use of different technique systems by chiropractor since the NBCE's Practice Analysis of Chiropractic 2010 did not capture this data]. The 1993 NBCE Job Analysis (3) reported roughly 40% of Canadian chiropractors use an AAI, although more recent estimates range from 31.4%4 to 22%. (5) A survey of British chiropractors reported 82% of respondents indicated they use an AAI, although only 2% of them stated they used it as their primary treatment method (6) and the NBCE 1994 (7) reported that 72.7% and 54.3% of Australian and New Zealand chiropractors, respectively, used an AAI.

In 2001, Cooperstein et al. (8) and Gatterman et al. (9) published companion articles that sought to characterize the literature with respect to chiropractic technique procedures for various low back conditions and rate the effectiveness of specific chiropractic procedures for low back conditions, respectively. These systematic reviews reported that the widest base of evidential support existed for side posture HVLA manipulations and a panel of experts ascribed a value of 9.3/10 with respect to clinical effectiveness for acute low back pain and 8.1/10 for chronic low back; by contrast, instrumented-adjusting was only allocated a score of 3.7/10 for acute low back pain and 1.6/10 for chronic low back pain. (9) This led Cooperstein et al. to assert: "These considerations suggest that those researchers attempting to validate the appropriateness of their favored methods had best focus more on the type of research they do--more on outcomes and less on peripheral matters such as modeling and the reliability of diagnostic procedures." (8p410)

A review of the literature conducted in 2001 found that the number of retrievable articles from the peer-reviewed literature on AMCT (n = 21) was second only to the number of retrievable articles on Upper Cervical techniques (n = 28). (10) [It should be noted that the developers of Chiropractic BioPhysics/Clinical Biomechanics of Posture have also been very prolific with respect to publishing in the peer-reviewed literature, but many of those studies principally focused on mathematical modeling of the spine. (11,12)].

Since that time, investigations of AAI and AMCT have continued at an impressive rate. That being said, many of these published articles have investigated the mechanical properties of the AAI, the reliability and validity of prone leg length checking and the reliability and validity of diagnostic tests unique to AMCT (isolation, stress and pressure tests). Despite Cooperstein et al's admonishment a decade earlier, relatively few studies have investigated the clinical effectiveness of the AAI. For example, the 2001 review of the literature cited above (10) found only 6 case studies, 2 case series and 2 clinical trials involving AAI or AMCT. A textbook chapter devoted to describing AMCT published in 2004 (13) found only one additional clinical trial published between 2001 and 2004. Moreover a DVD (14) listing all published studies on the AAI or AMCT [distributed by Activator Methods Inc to attendees of the 2011 Association of Chiropractic Colleges and Research Agenda Conference (ACC-RAC)] had only one incomplete additional clinical trial, indicating a continued under-representation of studies of this nature. Even so, notwithstanding the relative paucity of clinical investigations, advocates of the AAI and AMCT continue to extol its clinical value and usefulness. (13,14)

The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the literature investigating clinical outcomes involving the use of the AAI or AMCT. A brief narrative review of each article that met the inclusion criteria is also provided.

Methods

This study was approved by the Ethics Review Board of the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.

The following electronic databases were searched from their earliest date of publication to April 2010: ICL, MANTIS, and AMED. CINHAHL and MEDLINE were searched through EBSCO publishing. The following key terms were used: "Activator Adjusting," "Activator Technique," "Neck pain," Low back pain," "Mechanical manipulation," "Mechanically assisted device" and "Instrument assisted manipulation.") The initial search strategy was then further refined by using the following MeSH terms: chiropractic *, therapy *, joint dysfunction* and cervical vertebrae *. References were also used from citations found in papers that were included after reviewing the inclusion and exclusion criteria for each. Citations from specific articles (reference tracking) were then researched independently through selected databases followed by hand searching throughout the periodicals.

Inclusion/exclusion criteria

Several inclusion/exclusion criteria were used to select studies eligible for this review. Inclusion criteria were as follows: studies must involve more than one subject; treatments must have been administered by a qualified chiropractor; papers were written in English; were published between January 1980 and March 2010; prospective or retrospective studies including RCTs, controlled clinical/ quasi-experimental trials, cohort, case control and case series; studies using some type of outcome measure for determining the effect of chiropractic care [i.e. Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS), Neck Disability Index (NDI), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), McGill Pain Questionnaire, range of motion, algometer/goniometer devices]; published in peer-reviewed journal and; only studies involving human subjects.

Subject age, sex, demographic, and pain type and duration were not consistent among studies and were therefore not utilized as inclusion criteria in this review. Manuscripts from conference proceedings or abstracts of studies were not included in this review since the criteria for inclusion in a conference proceeding is often much less stringent than the criteria used for inclusion in peer-reviewed indexed journals. Using these inclusion criteria, eight articles qualified for review.

Instrument Used to Review Eligible Articles

The articles selected for review were evaluated using an instrument developed by Sackett (see Table 1). (15)

Four authors (TH, ALB, MP, LB) independently reviewed the studies meeting the inclusion criteria. The data from all included articles were recorded onto a data extraction sheet by the authors as part of the review. The authors checked and edited all entries for accuracy and consistency. Recorded data included study authors and quality score, details of the study design, sample, interventions, outcome measures, and main results/conclusions of the study. These four authors met on April 5th, 2010 to compare their graded scores. Any discrepancies of scores between the authors were settled via discussion until consensus was reached.

Results

The initial search strategy yielded 283 hits when using the search terms "Instrument and Manipulation." Many articles found that discussed instrumentation other than an AAI or discussed unrelated topics such as historical development of the Activator, diagnostic testing used by AMCT practitioners or other non-clinical issues. Once refined to "Mechanically Assisted Manipulation" 51 articles were found. Of these 51 articles, only eight met our inclusion criteria. (16-23) After methodological quality assessment of each article using the grading instrument, papers were allocated scores out of a possible 50 points (Table 2). Articles are listed in descending order of their score using the Sackett criteria; in the event two or more articles had the same score, they were arranged alphabetically (Table 3).

Discussion

When assessed in terms of clinical effectiveness, AAI and manual manipulation were both found to result in equally statistically significant patient outcomes, although the differences between the use of these two treatment interventions was not statistically significant. Studies investigating the use of AAI only reported that it conveyed clinically meaningful benefits to patients.

Instrumented-Adjusting in Chiropractic

Instrumented adjusting has grown in popularity since the time Solon Langworthy first developed a table mounted percussive device in the early 19th century. (24) Along with the AAI other chiropractic technique systems have developed adjusting instruments. There are a number of instrumented Upper Cervical techniques that involve cervical adjusting devices that are handheld, floor-mounted or table-mounted. (25) Other notable examples include the Integrator associated with Torque Release Technique (26) and a floor mounted device used by CBP practitioners. (27) An internet search for "instrumented-adjusting devices in chiropractor" found a device called an "Impulse Adjusting Instrument" developed by NeuroMechanical Innovations, (28) and a device called the "Pro-Adjustor" (29) has recently been demonstrated at chiropractic trade shows over the past few years (for example, the 2011 World Federation of Chiropractic conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the 2010 Canadian Chiropractic Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada).

Instrumented adjusting is thought to convey multiple benefits to both patients and practitioners. (2,30-33) From the perspective of the patient, benefits conveyed by instrumented-adjusting include: the management of patients with osteoporotic bone fragility; (2,31-33) for children; for patients who are fearful of manipulative procedures that result in joint cavitation (i.e "cracking"); for extremity adjusting; to (theoretically) achieve greater joint specificity (2,30) and; it can be used for patients who wish not be physically touched (perhaps they have been physically or sexually abused, for example). (30) To date, no experimental or clinical evidence exists that the use of instrumented adjusting demonstrates a better safety profile compared to manual manipulation with respect to serious adverse events (i.e stroke) in patients with identified or unidentified vascular risk factors, since manual manipulation has not been conclusively linked to the incidence of stroke at all. (34)

From the perspective of the practitioner, instrumented adjusting can be used in cases of doctor injuries (disabilities of the hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder, for example) and it can used to compensate for anthropomorphic differences between a small doctor and a large patient. (2,30) Lastly, AAI conveys benefits to the research community since it can be used as a "sham" procedure by setting it to "0" since even set to "0" the AAI will still produce an audible sound. (2)

Currently, instrumented-adjusting is permitted for use by chiropractors in all Canadian, American, British and Australian jurisdictions, (5) although that has not always been the case. As recently as 2004, Saskatchewan prohibited its members from instrumented adjusting. The reasonableness of this standard of practice was raised in an article by one the authors of this review (BG) in an article published in 2002; (30) this spawned a heated exchange of letters to the editor. (35-37) Contemporaneously, the Chiropractic Association of Saskatchewan (CAS) struck a Committee to evaluate the literature on the efficacy, safety, usage and educational requirements for chiropractic practice relative to AAI [or mechanical adjusting devices (MAD) as it was termed in that report (38,39)]. Overall, the majority of the Committee members (4-2) concluded that, while all of the studies it reviewed were flawed to varying degrees and the literature was generally weak, the evidence supported the statement that AAI procedures were as effective as manual HVLA procedures in producing clinical benefits and biological change. (38) The Committee reached consensus (5-1) that AAI procedures are widely used for spine related and extremity conditions, is safe and has no more risk than do manual HVLA procedures (majority opinion 4-2). (39) Lastly, the Committee reached consensus (5-1) that there was no evidence with respect to educational requirement to form any conclusions. (39)

General Weaknesses of Studies Reviewed

Irrespective of the wide utilization rates among chiropractors, and despite the plethora of practical benefits to patients and practitioners championed by its proponents, this study found only 8 clinical trials that sought to determine the clinical effectiveness of the AAI, the form of instrumented-adjusting with the most publication in the peer-reviewed journals. None of the clinical trials reviewed here were randomized clinical trials; that is, none of them included a control (no-treatment) group or a sham treatment group or included patients without any clinical symptoms at all.

In general, examiners in the studies reviewed in this article were seasoned practitioners well acquainted with AAI use or with AMCT as well as the other treatment modality option employed (i.e. spinal manipulation, trigger point therapy). All the studies used small study populations, ranging from 8 to 92 subjects. Moreover, not all studies were adequately controlled with respect to both subject and examiner blinding, with 5 of the studies being assigned a "0" out of 5. An additional limitation was that all but one study failed to either strategize or adjust for relevant baseline characteristics. Due to the lack of long-term follow-up care and the use of a single treatment intervention, contamination and co-intervention grading had to be assumed in 4 of the 8 studies which may have further influenced the overall quality of these studies. A further limitation was that 7 of the 8 studies utilized a previously established patient base as study subjects, thus introducing the possible confounding factors of treatment expectancy and type II errors.

Conclusion

This systematic review of 8 clinical trials involving the use of the AAI found reported benefits to patients with spinal pain and trigger points, although these results were not statistically significantly different when compared to the use of HVLA manual manipulation or trigger point therapy.

Given the wide use and clinical utility of the AAI, it is unfortunate that most of the clinical trials investigating its effectiveness were only pilot studies involving between 8 and 92 patients and typically involving only one or two treating doctors with a limited post-study follow-up. That said, there does exist case studies, case series, clinical trials and now this systematic review that suggests patients do experience positive and clinically meaningful benefits when treated for spinal pain and trigger points using an AAI. Clinically meaningful improvements were documented in patients with acute and chronic low back or SIJ pain, acute and subacute neck pain, TMJ disorders and trigger points in the trapezius muscle.

Further studies ought to include a larger patient base using a placebo or sham group and a no-treatment group, better randomization and blinding protocols and longerterm post-intervention follow-up in order to more definitively assess the benefits of AAI treatment.

References

(1) National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Job Analysis of Chiropractic: a project report, survey analysis and summary of the practice of chiropractic within the United States. Greeley, Colorado, USA. National Board of Chiropractic Examiners; 2005.

(2) Cooperstein R, Gleberzon BJ. Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique. In: Technique Systems in Chiropractic. Cooperstein R, Gleberzon BJ (editors). Churchill-Livingston. 2004; 65-75.

(3) National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Job Analysis of Chiropractic: a project report, survey analysis and summary of the practice of chiropractic within Canada. Greeley, Colorado, USA. National Board of Chiropractic Examiners; 1993.

(4) Kopansky-Giles D, Papadopoulos C. Canadian Chiropractic Resource Databank (CCRD). A profile of Canadian chiropractors. J Can Chiro Assoc. 1997; 41(3):155-191.

(5) Watkins T, Saranchuk R. Analysis of the relationship between educational programming at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and the professional practice of its graduates. J Can Chiro Assoc. 2000; 44(4):230-244.

(6) Read DT, Wilson FJH, Gemmell HA. Activator as a therapeutic instrument: Survey of usage and opinions amongst members of the British Chiropractic Association. Clin Chiropr. 2006; 9(2):70-75

(7) National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Job Analysis of Chiropractic: a project report, survey analysis and summary of the practice of chiropractic within the United States. Greeley, Colorado, USA. National Board of Chiropractic Examiners; 1994.

(8) Cooperstein R, Perle SM, Gatterman MI et al. Chiropractic technique procedures for specific low back conditions: Characterizing the literature. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2001; 24(6):407-U1.

(9) Gatterman MI, Cooperstein R, Lantz C et al. Rating specific chiropractic techniques procedures for common low back conditions. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2001; 24(7):449-456.

(10) Gleberzon BJ. Chiropractic Name Techniques: A review of the literature. JCCA. 2001; 45(2):86-99

(11) Oakley PA, Harrison DD, Harrison DE, Haas JW. Evidence-based protocol for structural rehabilitation of the spine and posture: review of clinical biomechanics of posture (CBP) publications. JCCA. 2005; 9(4):270-296.

(12) Cooperstein R, Perle SM, Gleberzon BJ, Peterson DH. Flawed trials, flawed analysis: Why CBP should avoid rating itself (Editorial). JCCA. 2006; 50(2):97-102.

(13) Activator Methods Research DVD. Undated. Available upon request.

(14) Activator Methods (r). www.activator.com. Accessed May 11, 2011.

(15) Sackett DC, Williams MC, Rosenbery JA. Evidence Based Medicine: What is it and what it isn't. BMJ. 1996; 312:7172.

(16) Gemmel H, Allen A. Relative immediate effects of ischemic compression and Activator trigger point therapy on active upper trapezius trigger points: a randomized trial. Clin Chiropr. 2008; 11(1):175-181.

(17) Yurkiw D, Mior S. Comparison of two chiropractic techniques on pain and lateral flexion in neck pain patients: a pilot study. Chiro Tech. 1996; 8:155-162.

(18) DeVocht JW, Long CR, Zeitler DF et al. Chiropractic technique of temporomandibular disorders using the Activator Adjusting Instrument: a prospective case series. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2003; 26(7):421-425.

(19) Osterbauer PJ, Kenneth F, Boear DE et al. Treatment and biomechanical assessment of patients with chronic sacroiliac joint syndrome. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1993; 16(2):82-89.

(20) Wood TG, Colloca CJ. Matthews R. A pilot randomized clinical trial on the relative effect of Instrumental (MFMA) Versus Manual (HVLA) Manipulation in the treatment of cervical spine dysfunction. J Manipulative Physio Ther. 2001; 24(4):260-271.

(21) Gemmell HA, Jacobsen BH. The immediate effect of Activator Vs Meric Adjustment on acute low back pain: a randomized controlled study. J Manipulative Physio Ther. 1995; 18(7):453-t56.

(22) Schneider MJ, Brach J, Irrgang JJ et al. Mechanical Vs Manual Manipulation for low back pain: an observational cohort study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2010; 33(3):193-200.

(23) Shearer KA, Colloca CJ, White HL. A randomized clinical trial of Manual Versus Mechanical Forces Manipulation in the treatment of sacroiliac joint syndrome. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2005; 28(7):493-501.

(24) Troyanovich SJ, Coleman RR. Origins and the use of mechanical traction for reduction of chiropractic subluxation. Chiro Hist. 2004; 24(2):35-43.

(25) Cooperstein R, Gleberzon BJ. Upper Cervical Instrumented Techniques. In: Cooperstein R, Gleberzon BJ (eds). Technique Systems in Chiropractic. First Ed. Edinburgh, UK. Churchill Livingston 2004; 277-280.

(26) Cooperstein R, Gleberzon BJ. Torque Release Technique. In: Cooperstein R, Gleberzon BJ. Technique Systems in Chiropractic. First Ed. Edinburgh, UK. Churchill Livingston. 2004:257-261.

(27) Cooperstein R, Gleberzon BJ. Chiropractic BioPhysics. In: Cooperstein R, Gleberzon BJ. Technique Systems in Chiropractic. First Ed. Edinburgh, UK. Churchill-Livingston. 2004:109-121.

(28) NeuroMechanical Innovators. http://www .neuromechanical.com/index.php?option=com_content& task=view&id=32&Itemid=50 Accessed May 11, 2011.

(29) Pro-Adjuster. www.Proadjuster.com. Accessed May 11, 2011.

(30) Gleberzon BJ. Chiropractic Name Techniques in Canada: A continued look at demographic trends and their impact on issues of jurisprudence. J Can Chiro Assoc. 2002; 46(4):241-256.

(31) Cooperstein R, Killinger LZ. Chiropractic techniques in the care of the geriatric patient. In: Gleberzon BJ (ed). Chiropractic care of the older patient. First Ed. Oxford, UK. Butterworth-Heinemann. 2001; 359-383.

(32) Hawk C, Schneider M, Doherty P et al. Best Practice recommendations for chiropractic care for older adults: Results of a consensus process. Accepted for publication: J Manipulative Physio Ther. July/August 2010; 33(6):464-473.

(33) Gleberzon BJ. A narrative review of the published chiropractic literature regarding older patients from 2001-2010. J Can Chiro Assoc. 2011; 55(2):86-105.

(34) Cassidy JD, Boyle E, Cote P. Risk of vertrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care. Results of a population-based case-controlled and case crossover study. Spine. 2008; 33945):S176-S183.

(35) Corrigan JR. Chiropractic Name Techniques in Canada: A continued look at demographic trends and their impact on issues of jurisprudence. Letter to the Editor. J Can Chiro Assoc. 2003; 47(2):132-133.

(36) Kitchen RG. Chiropractic Name Techniques in Canada: A continued look at demographic trends and their impact on issues of jurisprudence. Letter to the Editor. J Can Chiro Assoc. 2003; 47(2):135-137.

(37) Gleberzon BJ. Chiropractic Name Techniques in Canada: A continued look at demographic trends and their impact on issues of jurisprudence. To the Editor in Reply. J Can Chiro Assoc. 2003; 47(2):133-135, 137-138.

(38) Taylor SH, Arnold ND, Biggs L. A review of the literature pertaining to the efficacy, safety, educational requirements, uses and usage of mechanical adjusting devices. Part 1 of 2. J Can Chiro Assoc. 2004; 48(1):74-88.

(39) Taylor SH, Arnold ND, Biggs L. A review of the literature pertaining to the efficacy, safety, educational requirements, uses and usage of mechanical adjusting devices. Part 2 of 2. J Can Chiro Assoc. 2004; 48(2):152-179.

Tiffany Huggins, BA(Hons), BEd, DC

Ana Luburic Boras, BA, DC

Brian J. Gleberzon, DC, MHSc *

Mara Popescu, BA, DC

Lianna A. Bahry, BKin, DC

* Professor, Chair of Department of Chiropractic Therapeutics, CMCC, 6100 Leslie St. Toronto, Ontario, M2H 3J1. E-mail: bgleberzon@cmcc.ca
Table 1 Instrument Categories Used to Grade Articles for this
Review

Grading Criteria:

Assignment of patients (/9)

No mention of randomization-score 0; case study fully
described-score 2; retrospective study fully described-score 4;
prospective study fully described-score 5; non-randomized clinical
trial-score 6; randomized clinical trial-score 7; non-randomized
controlled trial with inadequate randomization-score 8; randomized
controlled trial with adequate randomization described-score 9.

Baseline values of groups (/8)

No mention of baseline values-score 0; baseline values mentioned
but not statistically significant-score 4; baseline values
mentioned and not statistically significant-score 8.

Relevance of outcomes and clinical significance (/7)

No mention of outcomes and clinical significance-score 0;
subjective outcome measures-score 3; objective outcome
measures-score 5; both subjective and objective outcome
measures-score 7.

Prognostic stratification (comorbidity and risk factors) (/6)

No clear mention of study inclusion or exclusion criteria-score 0;
inadequate mention of inclusion or exclusion criteria-score 3;
complete mention and description of inclusion and exclusion
criteria-score 6.

Blinding strategies (/5)

No blinding strategies mentioned-score 0; single blinded study
without method described and appropriate-score 2; single blinded
study with method described and appropriate-score 3; double blinded
study without method described and appropriate-score 4; double
blinded study with method described and appropriate-score 5.

Contamination/co-intervention (/4)

No mention of ways to control for contamination or
co-intervention-score 0; some patients received some sort of
contamination or co-intervention-score 2; assumed that no
contamination or co-intervention took place due to immediate
follow-up-score 3; contamination and co-intervention closely
monitored and accounted for-score 4.

Compliance of subjects to study procedures (/4)

No mention or detail given to compliance of study subjects-score 0;
compliance and co-intervention of patients monitored but not
closely monitored-score 1; some patients were compliant and did not
receive co-interventions and was closely monitored and
detailed-score 2; compliance of subjects was assumed due to
immediate follow-up-score 3; all patients were compliant and
closely monitored and detailed-score 4.

Drop-out rates of subjects (/3)

No mention of drop-out rates-score 0; drop-out rates
mentioned-score 1; no drop-out rates assumed due to immediate
follow-up-score 2; number and reason for drop-outs described-score
3.

Follow-up levels (/2)

No mention of subject follow-up-score 0; immediate follow-up
mentioned/performed-score 1; adequate follow-up
mentioned/performed-score 2.

Publication date of research (/2)

Published prior to 1990-score 0; published after 1990 and before
2000-score 1; published after 2000-score 2. Total Score: /50

Table 2

ARTICLE\CRITERIA    Gemmell   Yurkiw/   DeVocht   Osterbauer
                    et al.     Mior.    et al.      et al.
                     2009      1996      2003        1993

ASSIGNMENT OF          7         7         5          6
  PATIENTS (/9)
BASELINE VALUES        4         4         4          4
  OF GROUPS (/8)
RELEVANCE OF           7         7         7          7
  OUTCOMES &
  CLINICAL
  SIGNIFICANCE
  (/7)
PROGNOSTIC             6         3         6          3
  STRATIFICATION
  (COMORBIDITY
  AND RISK
  FACTORS) (/6)
BLINDING               3         3         0          0
  STRATEGIES (/5)
CONTAMINATION/         3         3         3          2
  CO-INTERVENTION
  (/4)
COMPLIANCE OF          4         4         3          4
  SUBJECTS TO
  STUDY
  PROCEDURES (/4)
DROP-OUT RATES         3         2         2          3
  OF SUBJECTS
  (/3)
FOLLOW-UP LEVELS       2         1         0          2
  (/2)
DATE OF                2         1         2          1
  PUBLICATION
  (/2)
TOTAL (/50)           41        35        32          32

ARTICLE\CRITERIA     Wood    Gemmell   Schneider   Shearar
                    et al.   et al.     et al.     et al.
                     2001     1995       2010       2001

ASSIGNMENT OF         7         7          7          7
  PATIENTS (/9)
BASELINE VALUES       4         0          8          4
  OF GROUPS (/8)
RELEVANCE OF          7         3          3          7
  OUTCOMES &
  CLINICAL
  SIGNIFICANCE
  (/7)
PROGNOSTIC            6         6          6          6
  STRATIFICATION
  (COMORBIDITY
  AND RISK
  FACTORS) (/6)
BLINDING              0         3          0          0
  STRATEGIES (/5)
CONTAMINATION/        4         3          2          0
  CO-INTERVENTION
  (/4)
COMPLIANCE OF         0         3          0          0
  SUBJECTS TO
  STUDY
  PROCEDURES (/4)
DROP-OUT RATES        0         2          0          0
  OF SUBJECTS
  (/3)
FOLLOW-UP LEVELS      2         0          0          2
  (/2)
DATE OF               2         1          2          2
  PUBLICATION
  (/2)
TOTAL (/50)           32       28         28         28

Table 3

Reference    Objective         Trial Design   /50

Gemmell      1 To examine      Randomized
  et al.     the effects       Clinical
  2009       of ischemic       Trial          41
             compression
             vs. Activator
             on trigger
             points
Yurkiw       1 Comparison      Randomized
  & Mior     of Diversified    Comparative
  1996       SMT & Activator   Clinical       35
             on ROM & Pain     Trial

DeVocht      1 To evaluate     Prospective
  et al.     the               Case Series
  2003       effectiveness                    32
             of Activator
             treatment on
             TMD
Osterbauer   1 To evaluate     Descriptive
  et al.     diagnostic and    Case Series
  1993       biomechanical
             assessment of
             SIJS                             32
             2 To assess
             treatment value
             of Activator on
             SIJS
Wood         1 Comparison of   Randomized
  et al.     Diversified SMT   Clinical
  2001       & Activator on    Trial          32
             cervical spine
             dysfunction

Gemmell      To examine the    Randomized
  et al.     immediate         Control
  1995       effects of        Trial          28
             Activator vs.
             Meric technique
             on acute LBP
Schneider    1 Examine         Non-
  et al.     treatment         Randomized
  2010       effect on NPRS    Cohort
             and ODI when                     28
             comparing
             Activator and
             manual SMT
             (Low back)
Shearar      1 Comparison of   Prospective
  et al.     Diversified SMT   Randomized
  2001       & Activator of    Clinica        28
             SIJS              Trial

Reference    Patients/               Interventions
             Conditions

Gemmell      52 volunteer            1 Ischemic
  et al.     subjects w/ tender,     compression
  2009       active trigger points   2 Activator
             of trapezius muscle

Yurkiw       14 established          1 Diversified
  & Mior     patients w/             SMT
  1996       subacute unilateral     2 Activator
             neck pain

DeVocht      8 patients w/           1 Activator
  et al.     chronic articular
  2003       TMD

Osterbauer   10 patients w/          1 Activator
  et al.     chronic sacroiliac
  1993       joint syndrome

Wood         30 patients w/          1 Diversified
  et al.     subacute neck pain      SMT
  2001                               2 Activator

Gemmell      30 established          1 Activator
  et al.     patients w/ acute       2 Meric
  1995       LBP

Schneider    92 established          1 Activator
  et al.     patients from 3         2 Diversified
  2010       chiropractic clinics    Side Posture
             w/ 3 month history
             of low back pain

Shearar      60 subjects w/ a        1 Diversified
  et al.     previous history        SMT
  2001       of SIJS                 2 Activator

Reference    Main Outcome          Follow-Up
             Measures              Period

Gemmell      1 PGIC                10 minutes
  et al.     2 NRS
  2009       3 PPA (Algometer)

Yurkiw       1 C-ROM               Immediate
  & Mior     Goniomentric
  1996       (inclinometer)
             device
             2 VAS

DeVocht      1 VAS                 None
  et al.     2 Maximum active
  2003       mouth opening
             in pain free range
             (ROM)

Osterbauer   1 VAS                 1 year
  et al.     2 ODI
  1993       3 Lumbosacral
             provocation tests
             4 Gait analysis
             5 Postural Sway

Wood         1 NDI                 1 month
  et al.     2 NPRS
  2001       3 McGill Pain
             Questionnaire
             3 ROM w/ Goniometer

Gemmell      1 VAS                 Immediate
  et al.
  1995

Schneider    1 NPRS                None
  et al.     2 ODI
  2010

Shearar      1 NRS-101             None
  et al.     2 Revised ODI
  2001       3 Orthopedic rating
             scales
             4 Algometer

Reference    Main Results/Conclusions

Gemmell      -- Both interventions
  et al.     showed improvement in all
  2009       outcome measures, but no
             statistical significance
             b/w groups

Yurkiw       -- No statistical
  & Mior     significance b/w
  1996       interventions
             -- Both interventions
             showed improvement in
             all outcome measures,
             but no statistical
             significance b/w groups
DeVocht      -- Signs & symptoms of
  et al.     patient TMD improved
  2003       w/ course of Activator
             treatment

Osterbauer   -- Activator proved
  et al.     beneficial in treatment
  1993       of chronic SIJS

Wood         -- No statistical
  et al.     significance b/w
  2001       interventions
             -- Both interventions
             showed beneficial
             effects in reducing pain
             & disability while
             increasing ROM
Gemmell      -- Both interventions
  et al.     showed improvement in
  1995       all outcome measures,
             but no statistical
             significance b/w groups

Schneider    -- Study found neither
  et al.     intervention superior to
  2010       the other, while
             providing profession
             with valuable
             information on the
             influence of treatment
             expectation
Shearar      -- No statistical
  et al.     significance b/w
  2001       interventions
             -- Both interventions
             showed improvement in
             all outcome measures,
             but no statistical
             significance b/w groups
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Author:Huggins, Tiffany; Boras, Ana Luburic; Gleberzon, Brian J.; Popescu, Mara; Bahry, Lianna A.
Publication:Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association
Article Type:Report
Date:Jan 1, 2012
Words:4705
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