10 Years of Clinical Research of Somatic Functional Therapy Programs
Henry Ford Health System
A Specialty Pain Clinic
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Hands-on, 1-on-1 Treatment for Chronic Back Pain Study at a Major Health System
Patients with chronic back pain (duration 3 months to 20+ years), including sciatica, sacral pain, and “failed back surgery syndrome” were randomly assigned to 3 treatment groups:
1. Conventional physical therapy (PT)
2. A combination of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) therapies (chiropractic, acupuncture, neuromuscular therapy, hypnotherapy, and Feldenkrais movement re-education) delivered by a group of licensed practitioners
3. An intervention that included SFT (delivered by massage therapists trained over 2 weekends in SFT Pain Resolution protocols)
Results: ELIMINATION of chronic back pain: PT=5% vs. CAM=16% vs SFT=25%.
Group Program for Chronic Back Pain
Delivered on-site at Chrysler. 96 people participated in 12, 2-hour sessions over 24 weeks. Participant results were compared to 59 people who were randomized to a waiting-list control group.
Results: Resolution of chronic back pain: Participants=55% vs. Controls=0%. Significant reductions in pain, disability, medication usage, sleep disturbance and depressive symptoms.
Summary of Group Programs for Pain and Stress-Related Conditions
Participants included over 2,400 people with more than 13,400 chronic pain conditions (>5 per person). Nearly all had at least 1 stress-related condition. Programs were 16-24 contact hours over 10-32 weeks with group sizes of 50-200 per group. All programs were conducted as Institutional Review Board-approved clinical trials using scientifically validated outcome measures to allow for definitive conclusions regarding their effectiveness.
Results: Resolution of chronic pain (nearly 40% of conditions resolved/80% improved), significant decreases in stress, and improvement in numerous chronic and stress-related conditions such as depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety, and sleep disorders, among others. The 16 month follow-up analyses showed that results are maintained long term.
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