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Postural sensorimotor training versus sham exercise in physiotherapy of patients with chronic non-specific low back pain: An exploratory randomised controlled trial


McCaskey, Michael A; Wirth, Brigitte; Schuster-Amft, Corina; de Bruin, Eling D (2018). Postural sensorimotor training versus sham exercise in physiotherapy of patients with chronic non-specific low back pain: An exploratory randomised controlled trial. PLoS ONE, 13(3):e0193358.

Abstract

Sensorimotor training (SMT) is popularly applied as exercise in rehabilitation settings, particularly for musculoskeletal pain. With insufficient evidence on its effect on pain and function, this exploratory randomised controlled trial investigated the potential effects of SMT in rehabilitation of chronic non-specific low back pain. Two arms received 9x30 minutes physiotherapy with added interventions: The experimental arm received 15 minutes of postural SMT while the comparator arm performed 15 minutes of added sub-effective low-intensity training. A treatment blinded tester assessed outcomes at baseline 2-4 days prior to intervention, pre- and post-intervention, and at 4-week follow-up. Main outcomes were pain and functional status assessed with a 0-100mm visual analogue scale and the Oswestry Disability Questionnaire. Additionally, postural control was analysed using a video-based tracking system and a pressure plate during perturbed stance. Robust, nonparametric multivariate hypothesis testing was performed. 22 patients (11 females, aged 32 to 75 years) with mild to moderate chronic pain and functional limitations were included for analysis (11 per arm). At post-intervention, average values of primary outcomes improved slightly, but not to a clinically relevant or statistically significant extent. At 4-week follow-up, there was a significant improvement by 12 percentage points (pp) on the functional status questionnaire in the SMT-group (95% confidence intervall (CI) = 5.3pp to 17.7pp, p < 0.001) but not in the control group (4 pp improvement, CI = 11.8pp to 19.2pp). However, group-by-time interaction effects for functional status (Q = 3.3, 19 p = 0.07) and pain (Q = 0.84, p = 0.51) were non-significant. Secondary kinematic outcomes did not change over time in either of the groups. Despite significant improvement of functional status after SMT, overall findings of this exploratory study suggest that SMT provides no added benefit for pain reduction or functional improvement in patients with moderate chronic non-specific low back pain. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02304120 and related study protocol, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2474-15-382.

Abstract

Sensorimotor training (SMT) is popularly applied as exercise in rehabilitation settings, particularly for musculoskeletal pain. With insufficient evidence on its effect on pain and function, this exploratory randomised controlled trial investigated the potential effects of SMT in rehabilitation of chronic non-specific low back pain. Two arms received 9x30 minutes physiotherapy with added interventions: The experimental arm received 15 minutes of postural SMT while the comparator arm performed 15 minutes of added sub-effective low-intensity training. A treatment blinded tester assessed outcomes at baseline 2-4 days prior to intervention, pre- and post-intervention, and at 4-week follow-up. Main outcomes were pain and functional status assessed with a 0-100mm visual analogue scale and the Oswestry Disability Questionnaire. Additionally, postural control was analysed using a video-based tracking system and a pressure plate during perturbed stance. Robust, nonparametric multivariate hypothesis testing was performed. 22 patients (11 females, aged 32 to 75 years) with mild to moderate chronic pain and functional limitations were included for analysis (11 per arm). At post-intervention, average values of primary outcomes improved slightly, but not to a clinically relevant or statistically significant extent. At 4-week follow-up, there was a significant improvement by 12 percentage points (pp) on the functional status questionnaire in the SMT-group (95% confidence intervall (CI) = 5.3pp to 17.7pp, p < 0.001) but not in the control group (4 pp improvement, CI = 11.8pp to 19.2pp). However, group-by-time interaction effects for functional status (Q = 3.3, 19 p = 0.07) and pain (Q = 0.84, p = 0.51) were non-significant. Secondary kinematic outcomes did not change over time in either of the groups. Despite significant improvement of functional status after SMT, overall findings of this exploratory study suggest that SMT provides no added benefit for pain reduction or functional improvement in patients with moderate chronic non-specific low back pain. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02304120 and related study protocol, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2474-15-382.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:9 March 2018
Deposited On:14 Mar 2018 13:45
Last Modified:01 Apr 2018 01:24
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193358
PubMed ID:29522571

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