A randomised controlled trial on non-specific chronic low back pain management in runners

Project Number
RI 9/12 KPW

Project Duration
April 2013 - December 2016

Status
In-Progress (Extended)

Abstract
Low Back Pain (LBP) is one of the most common problems in medical practice, affecting 70% to 80% of adults at some time during their lives. Non-specific LBP, which is defined as pain with no identifiable cause, accounts for about 85% of all LBP cases. Among recreational runners, the prevalence of LBP was reported as high as 13.6%. Surprisingly, the clinical management of non-specific LBP among runners has received little attention. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of three exercise therapy treatments on non-specific chronic LBP among recreational runners. A novel approach, namely lower limb muscles exercise, will be compared to two conventional treatments (lumbar extensor muscles exercise and lumbar stabilization exercise) in a randomised controlled clinical trial. Eighty-one recreational runners with chronic LBP referred from orthopaedic outpatient specialist clinic will be recruited, while they await physiotherapy service. Participants will be random ly allocated into the three training groups: 1) lumbar extensor muscles exercise, 2) lumbar stabilization exercise and 3) lower limb muscles exercise. An 8-week intervention program including supervised exercise sessions and home exercises will be implemented. Biomechanical and functional assessments such as Rehabilitative Ultrasound imaging, back endurance test, electromyography, isokinetic strength tests and self-reported disability measures will be carried out at five time points: pre-intervention, mid-intervention, end-intervention, 3 months post-intervention and 6 months post-intervention. It is hypothesized that the lower limb muscles exercise, a novel therapy approach in LBP management, will be more effective in improving the functional outcome among the runner population than the other two conventional exercise therapy approaches. This study will pioneer the application of lower limb exercise in LBP treatment, and will also be the first to investigate the clinical management of LBP among the runner population. Findings from this study will contribute to enhancing rehabilitation efficiency and clinical decision making in non-specific chronic LBP management for runners. ment of LBP among the runner population. Findings from this study will contribute to enhancing rehabilitation efficiency and clinical decision making in non-specific chronic LBP management for runners.

Funding Source
NIE

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