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Vol. 23. Issue 3.
Pages 187-276 (01 May 2019)
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Vol. 23. Issue 3.
Pages 187-276 (01 May 2019)
Original Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.08.004
Effect of pulsed electromagnetic field on nonspecific low back pain patients: a randomized controlled trial
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Ahmed Mohamed Elshiwia, Hamada Ahmed Hamadab,
Corresponding author
Hamada.Ahmed@pt.cu.edu.eg

Corresponding author at: Lecturer of Biomechanics, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
, Dalia Mosaadc, Ibrahim Mohammed A. Ragabd, Ghada Mohamed Kouraa,e, Saud Mashi Alrawailif
a Department of Physical Therapy for Musculoskeletal Disorders and its Surgery, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
b Department of Biomechanics, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
c Department of Basic Science, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
d Department of Physical Therapy for Musculoskeletal Disorders and its Surgery, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt
e Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Applied Sciences, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
f Department of Physical Therapy and Health Rehabilitation, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Prince Sattam, Bin Abdulaziz University, Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia
Highlights

  • Magnetic therapy as a novel alternative treatment is suitable for managing LBP. Its advantage over the standard pharmacological intervention is due to fewer side effects.

  • Previous studies reflect that there is still a gap in selecting the optimum parameters of pulsed electromagnetic field for treating acute and chronic nonspecific LBP. Many studies used high intensity and frequency of the PEMF, while others applied low parameters of the PEMF. While this study used 50Hz frequency, with low intensity of 20Gauss.

  • The dose of with 50Hz and 20Gauss seems to be useful.

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Statistics
Figures (1)
Tables (3)
Table 1. Demographic characteristics of patients in both groups, presented as mean (SD).a
Table 2. Descriptive characteristics for the all dependent variables for both groups at different training periods.
Table 3. Between-group differences at 95% CI for the effects of interventions.
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Abstract
Background

Further research on pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) effects on the different conditions of low back pain was warranted due to lack of studies in this area.

Objectives

To investigate the effects of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy with 50Hz frequency, with low intensity of 20Gauss compared to conventional non-invasive treatment modalities in patients with chronic non-specific low back pain.

Methods

Design – A prospective, randomized, patient-blinded, controlled trial. Setting – The study was conducted at Outpatient Physiotherapy Clinic in Cairo, Egypt. The study was conducted between May 2015 and September 2016. Participants – Fifty participants with non-specific low back pain enrolled into experimental and control groups. InterventionsThe experimental group received the Conventional physical therapy Protocol as well as magnetic field, while the control group received the same Conventional physical therapy and sham electromagnetic field. Both groups received 12 sessions over 4 weeks’ period. Outcome measures – Primary outcome measures was pain intensity while the secondary outcome measures were disability and lumbar range of motion – ROM. There were no adverse events occurred during the study.

Results

Fifty participants with non-specific low back pain (control group n=25; experimental group n=25) were randomized. There were significant between-group differences in pain scores (mean difference – MD 1.52; 95%CI −0.34 to 3.35), function disability (MD 8.14; 95%CI 6.5 to 9.96), Range of Motion (ROM) of lumbar flexion (MD −1.27; 95%CI −1.09 to −1.45), ROM of lumbar extension (MD −1.1; 95%CI −0.97 to −1.23), ROM of lumbar right side bending (MD 8.2; 95%CI 6.56 to 9.84) and ROM of lumbar left side bending (MD 10.4; 95%CI 8.81 to 11.99) in favour of the experimental group.

Conclusion

Adding pulsed electromagnetic field to Conventional physical therapy Protocol yields superior clinical improvement in pain, functional disability, and lumbar ROM in patients with non-specific low back pain than Conventional physical therapy alone.

Keywords:
Non-specific low back pain
Pulsed electromagnetic field
Conventional physical therapy program

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