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Hospital is part of world’s largest physiotherapy trial

24 June 2015

Health Care

Easing the pain of those coping with osteoporosis is the aim of an international trial supported by Southend Hospital physiotherapy team.

They are half way through taking part in the world's largest physiotherapy trial regarding spinal fractures related to osteoporosis.

Around 25,000 people are affected by this condition in the UK with many referred to physiotherapy to help their recovery.

Some research evidence suggests that physiotherapy may help to ease pain and help patients back to their normal activities of daily life as soon as possible. However, it is not known which type of physiotherapy is most helpful to people which is where this research comes in.

The trial, known as the Physiotherapy Rehabilitation of Osteoporotic Vertebral Fractures, or PROVE trial is led by the University of Oxford. It aims to evaluate the effects of exercise and manual therapy physiotherapy treatments upon quality of life, function and pain for people who have had one or more spinal fractures due to osteoporosis.is comparing usual care, with physiotherapy based on either exercise therapy or hands-on treatment.

Georgina Ramsey, a research physiotherapist at the hospital who is part of the trial, said: "It is a great coup for Southend Hospital's rehabilitation department to be able to be involved in a trail of this magnitude."

And it's something of an epic undertaking, including coordination between rehabilitation, rheumatology, orthopaedics, DEXA scan , a special type x-ray that measures the denseness of bones which can be used to diagnose osteoporosis, and primary care. So far, over 285 members of the public have been recruited to take part in the trial.

One of the principal investigators is the hospital's Dr Hubert van Griensven, he added: "We hope that this study will tell us which approaches work best, it should also enable us to better tailor the treatment to each patient in Essex and across the UK."

More eligible patients are still being sought to take part in the trial so please contact the physiotherapy appointments line on 01702 385244 or email physiotherapy.referrals@southend.nhs.uk   if you are interested in finding out more about taking part in this trial that could help so many people impacted by spinal fractures related to osteoporosis.