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Additional effect of pain neuroscience education to spinal manipulative therapy on pain and disability for patients with chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial [with consumer summary]
Tavares FAG, Rossiter JVA, Lima GCL, de Oliveira LG, Cavalcante WS, Avila MA, George SZ, Chaves TC
Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy 2023 Sep-Oct;27(5):100555
clinical trial
7/10 [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: 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: Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) demonstrates small effects on pain intensity in low back pain. Combining SMT with a psychosocial intervention like pain neuroscience education (PNE) could promote additional effect. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the additional effect of PNE when combined to SMT on pain intensity and low back pain-related disability in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP). METHOD: One hundred and four patients with CLBP of both sexes aged between 18 and 55 years were treated with PNE plus SMT compared to SMT alone. The primary outcome measures were pain intensity and disability post-treatment (4 weeks). Secondary outcomes were fear-avoidance beliefs, global perceived effect of improvement, and pain self-efficacy. Results were obtained immediately post-treatment and at three follow-ups (30 days, 90 days, and 180 days). RESULTS: No significant between-group difference was observed for pain intensity and disability post-treatment. In contrast, our results showed a significantly longer additional effect for the group treated with SMT + PNE for the following outcomes: pain intensity (change baseline to 90 day follow-up = -0.90 (95% CI -1.76 to -0.4) and change baseline to 180 day follow-up = -1.19 (95% CI -2.06 to -0.32)) and low back pain-related disability, global perceived effect of improvement and pain self-efficacy (180th day follow-up). CONCLUSION: The results of this trial suggest the addition of PNE to SMT did not bring any additional effect on pain intensity and disability in the short term, but SMT plus PNE can result in longer-lasting effects in patients with CLBP and that such an effect could be related to a possible mediator effect of pain self-efficacy.

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