Introduction. Electrotherapy is a non-pharmacologic, non-invasive and simple method of back pain treatment that is also applied using interferential (IF) therapy.
The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of IF on pain, range of motion, and quality of life in patients with chronic non-specific low back pain (CNLBP).
Materials and methods. 61 patients suffering from CNLBP were randomly assigned to IF group (n=30) and placebo IF (n=31). All patients received supervised exercises 3 times per week for 4 weeks. The outcome measures were visual analogue scale (VAS), lumbar range of motion (ROM) in terms of flexion& extension and the Short Form-36 (SF-36) health questionnaire to evaluate the quality of life (QOL).
Results. There were no significant differences between groups in terms of baseline and demographic characteristics (p > 0.05). There were significant differences between pre and post intervention in IF group in all measured parameters (VAS at rest, VAS during activity, Flexion, extension range of motion and QOL in term of physical and mental components) (p<0.05), while there were nonsignificant difference in all measured outcome in placebo group except the quality of life and flexion range of motion which showed statistical significant difference. When comparing the 2 groups, the results revealed that there were highly significant differences in all measured parameters in favor of IF group.
Conclusions. The study revealed that 4 weeks of IF treatment combined with exercise therapy is significantly effective in reducing pain, improving lumbar ROM and QOL in patients with CNLBP.
Keywords: low back pain, mechanical low back pain, range of motion, interferential therapy, quality of life.
Sayed A. TANTAWY
Department of Physiotherapy, Centre of Radiation, Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt
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