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Vol. 23. Issue 5.
Pages 428-436 (01 September 2019)
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Vol. 23. Issue 5.
Pages 428-436 (01 September 2019)
Original Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.10.005
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation training improves pain-related and balance outcomes in working-age patients with chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial
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Pattanasin Areeudomwong
Corresponding author
pattanasin.are@mfu.ac.th

Corresponding author at: Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Science, Mae Fah Luang University, 333 Moo1, Tasud Sub-district, Muang District, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand.
, Vitsarut Buttagat
Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Highlights

  • PNF training statistically improves pain intensity, disability and static balance of working-age CLBP people.

  • Magnitudes of difference of outcomes between PNF training and general trunk exercises did not reach clinical important changes.

  • The therapist should take into account to use these interventions in rehabilitation programme for CLBP patients.

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Tables (2)
Table 1. Demographic and baseline clinical characteristics.
Table 2. Comparison between proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) training (n=22) and control (n=22) groups on pain intensity, functional disability and static balance ability at baseline and 3-week assessment.
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Abstract
Background

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation training and general trunk exercises have been applied to treat chronic low back pain patients. However, there is currently little study to support the use of one treated intervention over the other to improve clinical outcomes and balance ability.

Objective

To examine the effects of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation training on pain intensity, disability and static balance ability in working-age patients with chronic low back pain.

Methods

Forty-four chronic low back pain participants aged 18–50 years were randomized either to a three-week proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation training or to a control group receiving general trunk exercises. Pain intensity, disability and static balance ability were measured before and after the three-week intervention.

Results

The proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation training intervention showed a statistically significantly greater reduction in pain intensity and improved functional disability than the controls at three weeks (between-group difference: pain intensity 1.22 score, 95% CI: 0.58 to 1.88, p<0.001; disability 2.23 score, 95% CI: 1.22 to 3.24, p<0.001. The proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation training intervention also had statistically better parameters of static balance ability than the control group (between-group difference: ellipse sway area during eye opened and closed conditions 129.09mm2, 95% CI: 64.93 to 175.25, p<0.01 and 336.27mm2, 95% CI: 109.67 to 562.87, p<0.05, respectively; the centre of pressure velocity during eye opened and eye closed conditions 6.68mm/s, 95% CI: 4.41 to 8.95, p<0.01 and 6.77mm/s, 95% CI: 4.01 to 9.54, p<0.01, respectively).

Conclusion

The three-week proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation training provides better pain intensity, disability and static balance ability than general trunk exercises for working-age individuals with chronic low back pain but the effects do not reach the clinical meaningful level. The therapists should consider carefully when making recommendations regarding these interventions, taking into account effectiveness and costs.

Keywords:
Training
Low back pain
Disability
Balance

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