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Physiotherapy in early phase of low back pain

Authors Paatelma M

Published 18 March 2011 Volume 2011:3 Pages 23—29


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Markku Paatelma
Department of Education, Auron – OMT Center, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: Low back pain (LBP) is a substantial health problem and has subsequently attracted a considerable amount of research both in the early and chronic phases. Chronic, nonspecific LBP indicates limited effectiveness from most commonly applied interventions and approaches, but it seems to be opposite in the early phase. Intervention is more effective than advice on staying active in acute LBP, leading to more rapid improvement in function, mood, quality of life, and general health. We compared physiotherapy (PT) that involved 3–7 treatment sessions based on subclassification in early phase LBP (acute and subacute LBP lasting <3 months) to one session of PT that advised staying active, in 134 LBP patients. Low back and leg pain, disability, and days of sick-leave were evaluated. After 12 months, all groups had only minimal pain and disability. In the advice-only group, those patients who had radiating pain had less improvement compared with other groups, and increasing days of sick-leave because of LBP after 12 months. Compared with the advice-only group, orthopedic manual therapy and McKenzie methods seemed to be slightly more effective than one session of assessment in pain and disability.

Keywords: OMT, advice, low back pain

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