Comparative clinical effects of spinal manipulation, core stability exercise, and supervised exercise on pain intensity, segmental instability, and health-related quality of life among patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain: A randomized control trial

Kanchan Kumar Sarker1, Jasobanta Sethi2, Umasankar Mohanty3
1Department of Physiotherapy, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Punjab, India.
2Amity Institute of Physiotherapy, Amity University Uttar Pradesh, Noida, UP, India.
3Department of Manual Therapy, Manual Therapy Foundation of India, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
DOI: 10.4103/jnsbm.JNSBM_101_19


Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the comparative efficacy of spinal manipulative therapy-high-velocity low-amplitude (SMT-HVLA) thrust, core stability exercise (CSE), and supervised exercise on pain intensity (PI), segmental instability, and quality of life among patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain (CNSLBP). Materials and Methods: This was a randomized controlled trial conducted on 105 patients with CNSLBP (with duration of pain >3 months) distributed in three groups with 35 participants in each group, and an average age of the participants was 25.66 (standard deviation = 6.74) years. Participants received SMT-HVLA thrust (Group 1), CSE (Group 2), and supervised exercise (control group [CG]) with a common ergonomic advice (EA) for 2 weeks. The primary outcomes were PI measured by the Numeric Pain Rating Scale and segmental instability (postural sway) through the center of foot pressure measured by Win-Track platform. The secondary outcome was the quality of life measured by the EuroQoL questionnaire. All outcomes were assessed at baseline and 2 and 4 weeks. Two-way ANOVA followed by with post hoc Tukey’s multiple comparison tests was carried out to examine treatment effects, and the relationship between the groups changes across outcome measures. Results: All participants completed the 2 weeks of intervention and the 4 weeks of follow-up. Group 1 had better outcomes than CG at 2 weeks (between-group difference in PI, P = 0.001; segmental instability, P = 0.001, and quality of life, P = 0.001) as compared to Group 2 and CG (between-group difference in PI, P = 0.03; segmental instability, P = 0.04; and quality of life, P = 0.05) as well as at 4 weeks (between-group difference in PI, P = 0.05; segmental instability, P = 0.03; and quality of life, P = 0.04). Conclusions: The SMT-HVLA thrust with EA providing pain reduction in patients with CNSLBP of high severity was associated with clinically better improvement in segmental instability (postural sway) and health-related quality of life. Thus, SMT may be an attractive option in such patients before proceeding for more invasive and costly treatments.

Keywords: Core stability exercise, high-velocity low-amplitude thrust, supervised exercise.

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