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Man Ther. 2006 Nov;11(4):279-86. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

Slump stretching in the management of non-radicular low back pain: a pilot clinical trial.

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Physical Therapy Program, Franklin Pierce College, 5 Chenell Drive, Concord, NH 03301, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine if slump stretching results in improvements in pain, centralization of symptoms, and disability in patients with non-radicular low back pain (LBP) with likely mild to moderate neural mechanosensitivity. Thirty consecutive patients referred to physical therapy by their primary care physician for LBP who met all eligibility criteria including a positive slump test but who had a negative straight-leg-raise test (SLR) agreed to participate in the study. All patients completed several self-report measures including a body diagram, numeric pain rating scale (NPRS), and the modified Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Patients were randomized to receive lumbar spine mobilization and exercise (n = 14) or lumbar spine mobilization, exercise, and slump stretching (n = 16). All patients were treated in physical therapy twice weekly for 3 weeks for a total of 6 visits. Upon discharge, outcome measures were re-assessed. Independent t-tests were used to assess differences between groups at baseline and discharge. No baseline differences existed between the groups (P > .05). At discharge, patients who received slump stretching demonstrated significantly greater improvements in disability (9.7 points on the ODI, P < .001), pain (.93 points on the NPRS, P = .001), and centralization of symptoms (P < .01) than patients who did not. The results suggest that slump stretching is beneficial for improving short-term disability, pain, and centralization of symptoms. Future studies should examine whether these benefits are maintained at a longer-term follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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