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Short-term effects of manual therapy plus capacitive and resistive electric transfer therapy in individuals with chronic non-specific low back pain: a randomized clinical trial study
Kasimis K, Iakovidis P, Lytras D, Koutras G, Chatziprodromidou IP, Fetlis A, Ntinou SR, Keklikoglou NM, Samiotaki A, Chasapis G, Tarfali G, Apostolou T
Medicina (Kaunas) 2023 Jul;59(7):1275
clinical trial
8/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: Yes; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Chronic non-specific low back pain (CNSLBP) is defined as back pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks. Capacitive and resistive electric transfer (TECAR) therapy utilizes radiant energy to generate endogenous heat and is widely used for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of manual therapy (MT) program combined with TECAR therapy in individuals with CNSLBP. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixty adults with CNSLBP were randomly divided equally into three groups. The first group followed an MT protocol in the lumbar region (MT group), the second group followed the same MT protocol combined with TECAR therapy (MT plus TECAR group) using a conventional capacitive electrode as well as a special resistive electrode bracelet, and the third group (control group) received no treatment. Both intervention programs included six treatments over two weeks. Pain in the last 24 h with the Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS), functional ability with the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ), pressure pain threshold (PPT) in the lumbar region with pressure algometry, and mobility of the lumbo-pelvic region through fingertip-to-floor distance (FFD) test were evaluated before and after the intervention period with a one-month follow-up. Analysis of variance with repeated measures was applied. RESULTS: In the NPRS score, both intervention groups showed statistically significant differences compared to the control group both during the second week and the one-month follow-up (p < 0.001). Between-group differences were also noticed between the two intervention groups in the second week (p < 0.05). Differences in the RMDQ score were detected between the intervention groups and the control group in the second week and at the one-month follow-up (p < 0.001), while differences between the two intervention groups were only detected at the one-month follow-up (p < 0.001). Regarding the PPT values, differences were found mainly between the MT plus TECAR group and the control group and between the MT plus TECAR group and the MT group (p < 0.05), with the MT plus TECAR group in most cases showing the greatest improvement compared to the other two groups, which remained statistically significant at the one-month follow-up (p < 0.05). Finally, both intervention groups improved the mobility of the lumbo-pelvic region at both time points compared to the control group without, however, statistically significant differences between them (p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The application of an MT protocol with TECAR therapy appeared more effective than conventional MT as well as compared to the control group in reducing pain and disability and improving PPT in individuals with CNSLBP. No further improvement was noted in the mobility of the lumbo-pelvic region by adding TECAR to the MT intervention.

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