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Correction of author affiliations (Justine Naylor, 26 August 2014)

Andrew Hayen is affiliated with the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, not the Ingham Institute. Rajat Mittal is affiliated with the Orthopaedic Department, Liverpool Hospital, not the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Justine Naylor and Ian Harris are affiliated with the SWS Clinical School, UNSW, not the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. read full comment

Comment on: Naylor et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 15:235

Competing Interest Statement (Jochen Zwerina, 05 August 2014)

A competing inteterest statement was erroneously not included in the manuscript. The Competing Interest statement should read: JZ received honoraria for lectures, advisory board participation, unrestricted research or travel grants from: AbbVie, MSD, UCB, Pfizer, Astro Pharma. read full comment

Comment on: Timmen et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 15:184

Error in meta-analysis regarding plasma IL-6. (Ellen Generaal, 30 May 2014)

In this meta-analyses, Uceyler et al. state as one of their main findings that fibromyalgia patients had higher plasma levels of IL-6 than controls. For this result, they refer to Table 4, which should be Table 9 (findings from meta-analysis are only shown in Table 9). The presented data (SMD[95%CI] = -0.34 [-0.64, -0.03]) shows that their conclusion is incorrect: mean plasma IL-6 levels of controls are higher than the values for fibromyalgia patients. The three studies that were examined in this analysis (Togo, 2009; Schwarz, 2002; Bazzichi, 2007) show similar data as presented in Table 9. Thus, although perhaps unexpected, the conclusion should be that fibromyalgia patients had lower plasma levels of IL-6 than controls.

Subsequently, in the discussion, authors should... read full comment

Comment on: Üçeyler et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 12:245

Two previous publications on the Dutch WORC translation are available and not referred to in the current paper (De Witte et al., 2012; Wiertsema et al., 2013). (Suzanne Wiertsema, 18 February 2014)

Dear... read full comment

Comment on: Wessel et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14:362

Systematic Review Paints Incomplete Picture of OMT Research (Michael Seffinger, 15 January 2014)

In “Osteopathic Intervention to Chronic Non-specific Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review” (1) authors Paul J. Orrock and Stephen P. Myers conclude that further clinical trials in this area need to have consistent and rigorous methods, an appropriate control and reflect application in actual practice. However, new research has since been published about osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) for chronic low back pain patients that addresses these concerns. Because Orrock and Myers only included randomized clinical trials published before 2011, they did not include the results of the OSTEOPATHIC Trial that was published earlier this year. (2) The OSTEOPATHIC Trial, a randomized controlled trial that assessed the efficacy of OMT and ultrasound physical therapy for treating chronic... read full comment

Comment on: Orrock et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14:129

Correction of the abstract (Evelyn Baertschi, 13 December 2013)

Kappa value in the results should say 0.63-0.84 read full comment

Comment on: Baertschi et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14:315

Dorsal flexion is altered with aging (Maxime Billot, 07 October 2013)

It is with great interest that we have read the article (March 22th, 2013) `Ankle dorsi- and plantar-flexion torques measured by dynamometry in healthy subjects from 5 to 80 years¿ in volume 14 of the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders journal [1] recently published in your journal. The question was of great interest. However, we would like to revise several comments that we would make upon this article.... read full comment

Comment on: Moraux et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14:104

Email address change for corresponding author (Navdeep Madan, 04 October 2013)

The corresponding author email address published in the article ( is no longer valid. Kindly forward all correspondence to read full comment

Comment on: Harris et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14:143

Acknowledgements (Eiko Yamabe, 04 October 2013)

The OAI is a public-private partnership comprised of five contracts (N01-AR-2-2258; N01-AR-2-2259; N01-AR-2-2260; N01-AR-2-2261; N01-AR-2-2262) funded by the National Institutes of Health, a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services, and conducted by the OAI Study Investigators. Private funding partners include Merck Research Laboratories; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, GlaxoSmithKline; and Pfizer, Inc. Private sector funding for the OAI is managed by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. This manuscript was prepared using an OAI public use data set and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the OAI investigators, the NIH, or the private funding partners. read full comment

Comment on: Yamabe et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14:194

Details for subgrouping low back pain. (Brian Sweetman, 17 July 2013)

Kongsted et al (1) provide useful prognostic information for leg pain related to low back problems. Using the Quebec task force classification for such "sciatica", they classified the leg pain as reaching above or below knee level (along with the other criteria). This cut point is often used in this area of research to distinguish radicular pain from referred pain from the low... read full comment

Comment on: Kongsted et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14:171

Stratification of non-specific low back pain patients for therapeutic trials in general and illustrative suggestions for trials of manipulation in particular. (Brian Sweetman, 08 May 2013)

Orrock and Myers (1) have reviewed the present status of osteopathic intervention for so-called ¿non-specific¿ low back pain. They conclude that further clinical trials into this subject are required that have consistent and rigorous methods. However their introduction states that Non Specific Low Back Pain (CNSLBP) is a common, complex and disabling condition, but go on in the discussion to note that many studies had mixed back pain populations. There in lies one of the greatest problems of trial design. Should initial data collection allow for subgroup analysis? Which symptoms and signs are best for such... read full comment

Comment on: Orrock et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14:129

Different types of low back pain consequences confound the guidelines (Brian Sweetman, 08 May 2013)

Premature return to the work place may risk aggravation or reprecipitation of the underlying back pain problem. Surely it would be best to fix the back or work place first. But that is easier said than done and gauging recovery of the back is difficult. In their study Hendrick et al (1) question current wisdom. They reveal many incongruities between measures of impairment, disability and handicap, which help explain why guidelines on back care may well be... read full comment

Comment on: Hendrick et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14:126

Low back pain and sciatica; relationship of imaging findings to clinical symptoms. (Brian Sweetman, 08 May 2013)

Takatalo et al have recently reported MRI studies of disk degeneration in the young adult Oulo cohort. In the latest article (1) body mass index and smoking were linked to disk degeneration in males. In the slightly earlier article (2) the same MRI data was used to check which changes might be the causes of actual back pain symptoms and in particular the relationship between disk degeneration and Schmorls nodes. They include a helpful review of the modern literature in their following discussion. However they conclude that it is difficult to prove cause and effect and that it would need a prospective study with annual MRI studies for many years to get round this problem. To add to these deliberations it is perhaps interesting to draw attention to similar studies undertaken with plain x-... read full comment

Comment on: Takatalo et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14:87

Additional acknowledgement (Esther Maas, 03 April 2013)

The authors would like to add an acknowledgement to the article: funding for this open source publication was received from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). We thank NWO for this funding. read full comment

Comment on: Maas et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 13:260

Different sorts of work activity cause different sorts of back pain. (Brian Sweetman, 11 March 2013)

Garg et aaal (1) have published the protocol for their study of back pain in industry. Because it is a prospective study it may be able to distinguish cause and effect. In particular it may be able to tell whether heavy work causes back pain or whether back pain prevents the worker from doing heavy work. But there is another type of problem with such studies. Could it be that there are several sorts of heavy work each of which can provoke a different sort of back pain? In order to answer this the researchers need to measure multiple ergonomic aspects of work, and they also need an adequate classification of subgroups of back... read full comment

Comment on: Garg et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14:84

Trial plans (Brian Sweetman, 24 January 2013)

The plans of Maas et al (1) to evaluate back pain treatments have two important features not usually included in such studies. One is to check for cost effectiveness. The second is to study subgroups. But individual treatments need to be inspected for each... read full comment

Comment on: Maas et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 13:260

Pain drawings; similar observations but different interpretations. (Brian Sweetman, 24 January 2013)

Egloff and colleagues (1) provide one of the most detailed assessments of pain drawings in terms of the number of criteria they inspected. They compared a group of 62 patients selected as seemingly having somatoform-functional pain with a control group of 49 patients from the orthopaedic department with what the authors described as somatoform- nociceptive type pain. They identified 13 drawing criteria out of 24 that distinguish the ¿psychological¿ functional pain element. The number of criteria could be reduced to three, which identified the functional cases almost as effectively as did all thirteen criteria. These three best drawings criteria included the total number of marks, the length of the longest mark, and the presence of symmetric patterns.... read full comment

Comment on: Egloff et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 13:257

Neck trauma or no trauma, that is the question. (Brian Sweetman, 24 January 2013)

Bruls et al (1) have recently published the protocol for their arm, neck and shoulder study. It is possible that the study has already started, but there are some aspects that might be worth incorporating if it is not too late or that might be added in one of the follow up stages. Indeed, some aspects might best be added at the end of the study so as not to influence the participants... read full comment

Comment on: Bruls et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14:8

Lumbar facet joint asymmetric ¿contralaterality¿ (Brian Sweetman, 04 December 2012)

Dear... read full comment

Comment on: Kuo et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 11:151

Study Protocol ¿ Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections for Spinal STENOSIS (LESS): A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial of Epidural Steroid Injections for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Among Older Adults (Laxmaiah Manchikanti, 19 July 2012)

We read with great interest the study protocol by Friedly et al for lumbar epidural injections for spinal stenosis [1]. The protocol is well designed and a useful contribution to the literature. Unfortunately, the authors have demonstrated a seemingly superficial approach with what is potentially a misinterpretation of the previously available research. With reference to the previous available research, the authors have quoted a preliminary article by Manchikanti et al [2] published in 2008; however, they have ignored multiple other publications in reference to the one-year follow-up of the complete manuscript of the 2008 publication [3] as well as lumbar interlaminar epidural injections for spinal stenosis by the same authors and other multiple manuscripts by various other authors. The... read full comment

Comment on: Friedly et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 13:48

Wrong power calculation and analysis (David J Torgerson, 01 March 2012)

You are doing a cluster randomised controlled trial. However, your sample size is incorrect: you have not adjusted for clustering. Also your analysis strategy is incorrect: again you need to adjust for clustering. Even if you did the adjustment you only have 4 clusters, which is insufficient cluster replication. You need to increase the number of clusters to at least 8 and recalculate your sample size. read full comment

Comment on: Rathleff et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 13:9

Comment (Robert Borden Hopkins, 29 February 2012)

After the work [1] was published we realized a minor error with regard to... read full comment

Comment on: Hopkins et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 12:209

Error of pain measurement (Iben Axén, 06 July 2011)

In the methods section, the pain measurement is described as a Numeric Rating Scale, which is correct. However, in the result section as well as in Table 1, pain is described as a measurement with the Visual Analogue Scale, which is incorrect. This fact has no bearing on the figures (means and SD) presented, but they should, of course, read "NRS" even in the result and in the Table. We apologize for this error. read full comment

Comment on: Axén et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 12:99

MRI imaging in acute whiplash has no value: is this a surprise? (Stephen Faulkner, 25 January 2011)

We were interested to review the results reported in the recent publication by Vetti et al. [1] While we agree with these authors’ conclusion that upper cervical MRI is a poor screening tool for all patients with an acute whiplash injury, the paper may leave the reader with the impression that diagnostic MRI of the craniovertebral ligaments is not a useful modality in certain subpopulations of chronic whiplash-injured patients. It is important to note that the study design employed by the authors only allowed for the evaluation of upper cervical MRI as a screening tool of acutely injured patients (n = 114); there were too few patients in the study with significant chronic pain (n = 23) to draw any meaningful conclusions regarding the ability of the test to discriminate between... read full comment

Comment on: Vetti et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 11:260

Is fibromyalgia a progressive condition? (Kim Lawson, 05 August 2010)

The primary focus of the article of Silverman et al (BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2010, 11:66) towards the characterization of fibromyalgia (FM) severity is fundamental to a greater understanding of this condition. As correctly identified the limitations associated with potential biomarkers has not assisted in attempts of defining FM severity. It should also be noted a similar circumstance exists for the definition of the state of remission in FM, where often a lack of symptoms is viewed as a lack of the condition (ie an altered biology).
While the study and general interpretations of the outcomes are well constructed, there is however concern of the attempts to relate the measurement of FM severity with disease progression. This has led the authors to propose " slow progression... read full comment

Comment on: Silverman et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 11:66