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A prospective randomized three-week trial of spinal manipulation, transcutaneous muscle stimulation, massage and corset in the treatment of subacute low back pain

PainSci » bibliography » Pope et al 1994
Tags: massage, manual therapy, treatment

One article on PainSci cites Pope 1994: Does Massage Therapy Work?

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.

STUDY DESIGN: A randomized prospective trial of manipulation, massage, corset and transcutaneous muscle stimulation (TMS) was conducted in patients with subacute low back pain.

OBJECTIVES: The authors determined the relative efficacy of chiropractic treatment to massage, corset, and TMS.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Although all of these treatments are used for subacute low back pain treatment, there have been few comparative trials using objective outcome criteria. Patients were enrolled for a period of 3 weeks. They were evaluated once a week by questionnaires, visual analog scale, range of motion, maximum voluntary extension effort, straight leg raising and Biering-Sorensen fatigue test. The dropout rate was highest in the muscle stimulation and corset groups and lowest in the manipulation group. Rates of full compliance did not differ significantly across treatments. A measure of patient confidence was greatest in the manipulation group.

RESULTS: After 3 weeks, the manipulation group scored the greatest improvements in flexion and pain while the massage group had the best extension effort and fatigue time, and the muscle stimulation group the best extension.

CONCLUSION: None of the changes in physical outcome measures (range of motion, fatigue, strength or pain) were significantly different between any of the groups.

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