alexa Current use of lumbar traction in the management of low back pain: results of a survey of physiotherapists in the United Kingdom.


Journal of Spine

Author(s): Harte AA, Gracey JH, Baxter GD

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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To identify the current use of traction and the types of patients, treatment parameters, and treatment modalities used in conjunction with traction. DESIGN: Postal survey, with 4 sections: professional characteristics of respondent, current use of traction, patient selection, and treatment parameters. SETTING: Musculoskeletal outpatient departments (private and nonprivate practitioners). PARTICIPANTS: Random sample (N=1491) of chartered physiotherapists in the UK who work in the management of low back pain (LBP). INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Descriptive analysis of information on current use and practice in applying traction. RESULTS: A response rate of 83\% (n=1239) was achieved; 41\% (n=507) use lumbar traction, which is most commonly used in the management of subacute LBP patients presenting with nerve root symptoms. Treatment parameters were established for weights (5-60 kg), frequency (2-3 times weekly), and length of treatment (4 wk). In addition, traction is commonly used with other modalities (87\%): mobilizations, advice, and exercise. CONCLUSIONS: Survey results show the continued use of lumbar traction despite the recommendations of numerous guidelines. Results also clarify the types of patients and the parameters used in the application of traction. This article was published in Arch Phys Med Rehabil and referenced in Journal of Spine

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