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New approach for evaluating the effectiveness of whole-body magnetic field therapy in the rehabilitation of patients with lumbar discectomy
Kulikov AG, Voronina DD, Morozov AE, Zajceva TN, Ustinova KI
Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 2018;31(6):1065-1073
clinical trial
6/10 [Eligibility criteria: No; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: No; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: Magnetic field therapy involves the application of low-intensity magnetic fields (1 to 3.5 mT) to a patient's whole body. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of whole-body magnetic field (WBMF) therapy in the early rehabilitation of patients after lumbar discectomy. METHODS: A convenience sample of 73 patients who underwent lumbar discectomy within 1 month previously participated in the study. All patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups and received either a course of conventional rehabilitation (control group) or conventional rehabilitation together with 10 sessions of WBMF therapy (WBMF group). Participants were evaluated before and after the rehabilitation course by using the Visual Analog Scale for Pain (VAS) and thermal infrared imaging. The latter was used to detect pathological changes in temperature (hyperthermia and thermal asymmetry) of the surface of the skin overlying the lumbar spine and lower extremities. RESULTS: The VAS score of the WBMF group decreased from 6.2 +/- 0.3 cm before to 3.2 +/- 0.2 cm after rehabilitation (p < 0.01), compared to 6.1 +/- 0.4 cm before to 4.3 +/- 0.2 cm after rehabilitation for the control group (p < 0.05). Reduction of the area of lumbar hyperthermia was observed in 88% of WBMF and 35% of control group patients. CONCLUSIONS: When combined with conventional rehabilitation, WBMF therapy was effective in reducing lumbar pain, temperature, and, possibly, inflammation. Results of this study will be used for designing a large-scale clinical trial.

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