Effects of Physical Therapy on Pain, Functional Status, Sagittal Spinal Alignment, and Spinal Mobility in Chronic Non-specific Low Back Pain

Filiz, M.B.; Firat, S.C.

Eurasian Journal of Medicine 51(1): 22-26

2019


ISSN/ISBN: 1308-8734
PMID: 30911251
DOI: 10.5152/eurasianjmed.2018.18126
Accession: 066625136

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Abstract
To investigate the effects of physical therapy (PT) on pain, functional status, sagittal spinal alignment, and spinal mobility in chronic non-specific low back pain (NSLBP). The study population consisted of 100 patients with chronic NSLBP. The study group comprised 60 patients to whom a PT program including superficial heat, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and ultrasound for 10 sessions was assigned. The control group was composed of 40 patients who received no PT. Home exercise programs were applied to both groups. Pain severity was determined using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS), and functional status was evaluated using the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Spinal sagittal alignment in regard to lumbosacral, lumbar lordosis, and thoracic kyphosis angles and spinal mobility regarding lumbar and thoracic flexion and extension degrees were assessed using a digital inclinometer. Lumbar flexion was also assessed using the modified lumbar Schober test (mLST). Evaluations were performed at baseline and after completing the therapy sessions. There were significant decreases in VAS scores in each group upon therapy completion. However, significant improvements in ODI, mLST, and all inclinometric evaluations in terms of sagittal spinal alignment and spinal mobility were noted only in the study group compared with baseline values (p<0.05). Despite the short course of treatment, PT was found to have significant positive effects on pain severity, functional status, sagittal spinal alignment, and spinal mobility. PT was determined to be an effective treatment option for chronic NSLBP.