Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The physiotherapy management of chronic low back disorder
Author: Goldby, Lucy
ISNI:       0000 0001 3501 9391
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2003
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Musculoskeletal physiotherapy is the most common intervention for chronic low back disorder. Any observation on clinical practice or investigation into the clinical and scientific literature indicates that musculoskeletal physiotherapy encompasses a plethora of treatment modalities and approaches. The aim of the present investigation was to determine the most common intervention(s) that comprise musculoskeletal physiotherapy and to critically explore their empirical therapeutic basis. Two components were highlighted as the most frequently employed interventions; namely manually applied therapy (manual therapy) and exercise(s) to rehabilitate the lumbar spine's stabilising system. In the course of an extensive literature search, work was uncovered that suggested that the mechanisms required for spinal stability could be better facilitated using methods other than those in current clinical use. These discoveries culminated in the creation of a ten-week rehabilitation programme which was primarily developed to facilitate rehabilitation of spinal stabilisation but also permitted an empirical analysis of this component of musculoskeletal physiotherapy. The efficacy of the regime was then assessed in comparison to manual therapy and to a control (an education booklet) in a randomised controlled trial. Following a series of pilot studies, 300 patients with chronic low back disorder were randomly assigned to groups and completed their respective management programmes. Data were collected on pain, disability, handicap, impairment and quality of life prior to entry and at three, six, twelve and twenty-four months post intervention. The results indicated a consistent trend for greater improvement in the spinal stabilisation group in the pain, handicap, impairment, disability, dysfunction and medication variables. These trends reached statistical significance at the three-month follow-up stage as evidenced by quality of life (P = 0.025), at the six-month follow-up stage in pain (P = 0.009) and dysfunction (P = 0.042) and at the one-year follow-up stage in medication (P = 0.007), dysfunction (P = 0.048), disability (P = 0.0098) and quality of life (P = 0.003). It was therefore concluded that the spinal stabilisation programme was a more effective component of musculoskeletal physiotherapy (when analysed in isolation) than manually applied therapy or an education booklet in the management of chronic low back disorder. Various sub-analyses of the data were conducted. Subjects who entered the study with high levels of low back pain (greater than 50 numerical rating scale) demonstrated a statistically Significant reduction in pain levels (P = 0.04) in both the manual therapy group and the spinal stabilisation group in comparison to the education control group at the three-month follow-up stage. These data provide empirical evidence towards the efficacy of these two musculoskeletal physiotherapy management regimes as being effective in pain reduction in comparison to an active control intervention. This has not hitherto been demonstrated on patients with chronic low back disorder.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Low back pain