Author(s): Poitras S, Blais R, Swaine B, Rossignol M
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Physical therapy often is used in the management of work-related low back pain (LBP). Little information, however, is known about the types of interventions used by physical therapists in the management of this condition. The objective of this study was to describe the interventions used by physical therapists in the treatment of workers with acute or subacute LBP, with or without radiating pain below the knee. SUBJECTS: Clinical management questionnaires for workers without and with radiating pain were returned by 190 and 139 physical therapists, respectively. METHODS: For each treatment session, therapists recorded treatment objectives, interventions, and education provided to 2 workers with LBP, 1 with radiating pain and 1 without radiating pain. RESULTS: The majority of physical therapists used stretching and strengthening exercises, spinal mobilization, soft tissue mobilization and massage, manual traction, posture correction, interferential current, ultrasound, heat, and functional activities education. With radiating pain, the majority of the therapists also used cold and the McKenzie approach. Treatment objectives pursued by the majority of the therapists were decrease of pain, increase of range of motion, increase of muscle strength (force-generating capacity of muscle), decrease of muscle tension, and worker education. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Physical therapists use an array of interventions with workers with LBP. The effectiveness of most interventions reported has not been well studied.
This article was published in Phys Ther
and referenced in Journal of Spine