Published: 2021-08-25

Comparison of spinal manipulation and short-wave diathermy on patients with chronic postural low back pain, in department of physical medicine at teaching hospital, Kandy, Sri Lanka

W. A. T. Nisansala, H. H. T. Shashikala, I. N. Aluthge, K. N. B. Illukkumbura, S. Sukirthan, J. M. K. B. Jayasekara


Background: Chronic postural low back pain (CPLBP) is one of the common health problems worldwide. The aim of the study was to compare the spinal manipulation (SM) and short-wave diathermy (SWD) in patients with CPLBP in department of physical medicine at teaching hospital, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Methods: Observational study was conducted. Patients diagnosed as CPLBP, who referred to the department of physical medicine (DPM), teaching hospital Kandy, were observed in the study (n=140). Seventy (70) patients were allocated for SWD and 70 for SM by the consultant. Two physiotherapists were routinely appointed for the treatments and SWD treatment by group 1 and SM was carried out by group 2. The two treatment sessions were continued once a week through four weeks. Outcomes were measured by numerical pain scale to compare with initial pain.

Results: Group 1, SM consisted 39 females and 31 males, group 2, SWD 40 females and 30 males. After 4 sessions, the mean value of pain reduction from initial pain was significantly high (p<0.001) in SM group than the short-wave diathermy group in both genders. (Female: 6.410 (SM) and 4.625 (SWD), Male:6.710 (SM) and 4.333 (SWD). Further the mean values showed that there was a significant pain reduction during the initial treatment session than 2nd, 3rdand final sessions in both treatment groups.

Conclusions: Pain reduction was more pronounced in the first treatment session in both methods. SM is more effective for the treatment of CPLBP irrespectively the age and gender when compare to the SWD in the study population. Therefore, SM could apply on CPLBP patients with higher effective treatment.


CPLBP, SWD, SM, Pain reduction

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