Michener and research team recognized with Guy G. Simoneau Excellence in Research Award

Photo by Vern Evans

January 17, 2019

Professor (Clinical Scholar) in Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy Lori Michener and her research team have been awarded the Guy G. Simoneau Excellence in Research Award by the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT).

The award-winning article, “Immediate and Short-term Effects of Thoracic Spine Manipulation in Patients with Cervical Radiculopathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” appeared in the journal in May 2019.

The Guy S. Simoneau Excellence in Research Award recognizes the best 2019 article published in JOSPT, based on the importance of the contribution to clinical or basic science related to orthopaedic or sports physical therapy; the relevance of the manuscript to clinical practice; the quality of the research question, methodology, and interpretation of the findings with the existing literature; and the quality of the writing.

“These types of clinical studies are very important to determine types of treatments and how they may be helpful in improving pain and disability,” Michener said.

Cervical radiculopathy is caused by physical pressure or chemical changes to the nerves in the cervical spine or neck, which can result in tingling, pain and numbness in the arm in addition to neck pain.

Patients have difficulty using their arm and neck, so the research team wanted to determine the immediate effects of a spinal treatment on their symptoms and disability.

The spinal treatment investigated, the thoracic spine thrust manipulation, can be done in five minutes. After just one spine manipulation intervention, patients reported their symptoms improved. When followed up days later, patients reported continued improvement in symptoms and disability.

“This is good news, as this treatment takes little time, and can provide good benefits for the patient,” Michener said. “Ultimately this is the critical step – to enable the translation of evidence to practice.”

The award will be presented to Michener and her team, which includes Ian Young, Federico Pozzi, James Dunning and Richard Linkonis, during APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting in Denver, Col. on Feb. 14.