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Therapeutic ultrasound for chronic low-back pain

updated

Tags: devices, treatment

Two articles on PainSci cite Ebadi 2014: (1) Complete Guide to Low Back Pain(2) Does Ultrasound Therapy Work?

PainSci summary of Ebadi 2014: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible.

An inconclusive but underwhelming review of 7 small trials of ultrasound for chronic low back pain … none of them good quality. “There is some evidence that therapeutic ultrasound has a small effect on improving low-back function in the short term, but this benefit is unlikely to be clinically important.”

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: No high quality evidence was found to support the use of ultrasound for improving pain or quality of life in patients with non-specific chronic LBP. There is some evidence that therapeutic ultrasound has a small effect on improving low-back function in the short term, but this benefit is unlikely to be clinically important. Evidence from comparisons between other treatments and therapeutic ultrasound for chronic LBP were indeterminate and generally of low quality. Since there are few high quality randomised trials and the available trials are very small, future large trials with valid methodology are likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and may change the estimate.

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