Personalised physical therapy brings relief for lower back pain

February 17, 2017, University of Eastern Finland

Impaired movement control may result in chronic lower back pain. A new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows that the combination of manual therapy and exercise is an excellent way to combat movement control impairment in the lower back. This combination reduced the disability experienced by patients and significantly improved their functional ability. A personally tailored exercise programme was more beneficial for patients than a generic one, and the treatment results also persisted at a 12-month follow-up.

Movement control impairment is a common cause of lower back pain

Only 15% of patients suffering from get a specific diagnosis, meaning that up to 85% of patients have to settle for a non-specific one.. Many international care guidelines call for further research addressing the different subgroups of patients with lower back .

Patients with control impairment constitute one such subgroup. These patients have difficulties in controlling the position of their back when sitting down, standing or doing back bending. Impaired movement control is often caused by an earlier episode of back pain. The situation is problematic because patients don't realise that their incorrect back position is provoking pain.

So far, it has been unclear which specific exercises should be recommended to which patient groups. The study analysed which form of treatment better alleviates non-specific lower back disability: a personally tailored exercise programme targeting movement control impairment, or a generic exercise programme. Patients' situation was analysed after a three-month physical therapy period, and again after 12 months. Patients had five physical therapy sessions, including either personally tailored or generic exercises. Each session also included a brief manual therapy. After the physical therapy sessions, patients filled out a questionnaire charting the level of disability caused by their back pain.

Combination of manual therapy and exercise works

A total of 70 with diagnosed movement control impairment participated in the study. The results indicate that a three-month period significantly improved the of both groups, and the results persisted at a 12-month follow-up. Compared to the onset of the study, the results of the group doing personally tailored exercises were statistically and clinically better than the results of the group doing generic exercises both with regard to the level of disability and improvement of functional ability.

Explore further: Placebo and valium are equally effective for acute lower back pain in the ER

More information: Vesa Lehtola et al. Sub-classification based specific movement control exercises are superior to general exercise in sub-acute low back pain when both are combined with manual therapy: A randomized controlled trial, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (2016). DOI: 10.1186/s12891-016-0986-y

Related Stories

Placebo and valium are equally effective for acute lower back pain in the ER

February 16, 2017
Emergency patients treated with naproxen and placebo had outcomes as good as or better than patients treated with naproxen and diazepam (trade name Valium) for acute lower back pain, according to the results of a double-blind, ...

Yoga may have health benefits for people with chronic non-specific lower back pain

January 12, 2017
A new systematic review, published in the Cochrane Library today, suggests that yoga may lead to a reduction in pain and functional ability in people with chronic non-specific lower back pain over the short term, compared ...

Exercise to improve skill and coordination can help reduce lower back pain

January 7, 2016
A new Cochrane Review published today shows that targeting exercises to muscles that support and control the spine offers another strategy to reduce pain and disability caused by lower back pain.

New study finds that yoga can be helpful for low back pain

February 6, 2017
Over the course of their lives, about 80 percent of Americans will suffer from back pain at one time or another. A recent study found that more than a third of adults say that low back pain has affected their ability to perform ...

Basivertebral nerve ablation beneficial for chronic back pain

January 23, 2017
(HealthDay)—For patients with chronic lumbar back pain, ablation of the basivertebral nerve (BVN) improves self-reported outcome at three months and through one year, according to a study published in the February issue ...

Benefit of early physical therapy for low-back pain appears modest

October 13, 2015
Early physical therapy for recent-onset low back pain resulted in statistically significant improvement in disability compared to usual care, but the improvement was modest and did not achieve a difference considered clinically ...

Recommended for you

Past encounters with the flu shape vaccine response

February 20, 2018
New research on why the influenza vaccine was only modestly effective in recent years shows that immune history with the flu influences a person's response to the vaccine.

Building better tiny kidneys to test drugs and help people avoid dialysis

February 16, 2018
A free online kidney atlas built by USC researchers empowers stem cell scientists everywhere to generate more human-like tiny kidneys for testing new drugs and creating renal replacement therapies.

Expanding Hepatitis C testing to all adults is cost-effective and improves outcomes

February 16, 2018
According to a new study, screening all adults for hepatitis C (HCV) is a cost-effective way to improve clinical outcomes of HCV and identify more infected people compared to current recommendations. Using a simulation model, ...

Study suggests expanded range for emerging tick-borne disease

February 16, 2018
Human cases of Borrelia miyamotoi, a tick-borne infection with some similarities to Lyme disease, were discovered in the eastern United States less than a decade ago. Now new research led by the Yale School of Public Health ...

Flu shot only 36 percent effective, making bad year worse (Update)

February 15, 2018
The flu vaccine is doing a poor job protecting older Americans and others against the bug that's causing most illnesses.

IFN-mediated immunity to influenza A virus infection influenced by RIPK3 protein

February 15, 2018
Each year, influenza kills half a million people globally with the elderly and very young most often the victims. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 37 children have died in the United States ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.