Physical activity & physiotherapy in management of distal arm pain

Maintained physical activity and physiotherapy in the management of distal arm pain

The best approach to managing arm pain is unclear. Patients are often advised to rest and avoid purported harmful activities, and are commonly referred to physiotherapy. However, none of these strategies are evidence-based and there are reasons to suppose that rest may be inferior to remaining active. Well-conducted randomised trials are needed to resolve these uncertainties and to improve outcomes. This project addressed this need through the conduct of a multicentre randomised trial together with a cost–utility analysis. Project findings are currently being written up for publication.

Outcome and Translation

The results of the study will inform clinical practice over how best to manage distal arm pain.

This trial is registered on the ISRCTN Registry: ISRCTN79085082

HERU researchers involved in this research project: Paul McNamee and Aileen Neilson

External collaborators: G Jones, G Macfarlane (Other Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen); K Palmer, D Coggon (University of Southampton); K Burton (University of Huddersfield); K Walker-Bone (Brighton and Sussex NHS Trust); S Lamb (University of Warwick); A McConnachie (University of Glasgow); C McCabe (University of Bath); N Shenker (Cambridge University Hospitals)

Publications

Jones, G., Mertens, K., Macfarlane, G., Palmer, K., Coggon, D., Walker-Bone, K., Burton, K., Heine, P., McCabe, C., McNamee, P. and McConnachie, A. (2014) 'Maintained physical activity and physiotherapy in the management of distal upper limb pain - a protocol for a randomised controlled trial (the arm pain trial)' [protocol], BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 15(1), 71.

Neilson, A.R., Jones, G.T., Macfarlane, G.J., Walker-Bone, K., Burton, K., Heine, P.J., McCabe, C.S., McConnachie, A., Palmer, K.T., Coggon, D. and McNamee, P. (2019) 'Cost-utility of maintained physical activity and physiotherapy in the management of distal arm pain: an economic evaluation of data from a randomized controlled trial', Family Practice, 36(2), 179-186.

Jones, G.T., Macfarlane, G.J., Walker-Bone, K., Burton, K., Heine, P., McCabe, C., McNamee, P., McConnachie, A., Zhang, R., Whibley, D., Palmer, K. and Coggon, D. (2019) 'Maintained physical activity and physiotherapy in the management of distal arm pain: a randomised controlled trial', RMD Open, 5(1), e000810.