Original Research

Physiotherapy Modalities used in the Management of Chronic Low Back Pain

V. Naidoo, W. Mudzi, V. Ntsiea, PJ. Becker
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 68, No 1 | a8 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v68i1.8 | © 2012 V. Naidoo, W. Mudzi, V. Ntsiea, PJ. Becker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 December 2012 | Published: 11 December 2012

About the author(s)

V. Naidoo, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand., South Africa
W. Mudzi, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand., South Africa
V. Ntsiea, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand., South Africa
PJ. Becker, Biostatistics Unit, Medical Research Council of South Africa., South Africa

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Abstract

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a costly andcommon medical problem accounting for 75-90% of compensationcosts as a result of repeated treatments, long term work absenteeismand social support-unemployment compensation. Physiotherapytreatment modalities are commonly used in the management ofCLBP. Data on the management of CLBP by physiotherapists inlow income countries are scarce.A cross-sectional survey was used to investigate the managementof CLBP by physiotherapists in Kwazulu-Natal (KZN). Theobjectives of the study were to establish: the commonly used physiotherapymodalities; reasons; and the evidence base used for their choice. Six hundred and eighty-five self-administeredquestionnaires were posted to all registered physiotherapists in KZN.Of 213 returned questionnaires, 141 (20.6%) met the inclusion criteria as they managed patients with CLBP.General exercises (30%); spinal mobilisation (28%); myofascial release (18%), education (12%) and training oflocal stabilisers(12%) were the commonly used treatment modalities. Key reasons for the selection of the treatmentmodalities were undergraduate education received; own clinical experience and the attendance of postgraduate courses/physiotherapy conferences.From the reasons specified for the selection of treatment modalities, the use of written current available literaturethrough reading of journal articles was sparsely utilized.

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