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Schmerz. 2019 Nov 29. doi: 10.1007/s00482-019-00431-2. [Epub ahead of print]

[Electrical muscle stimulation in combination with heat for patients with chronic, nonspecific low back pain : A randomized, double-blind, stratified, placebo-controlled clinical trial].

[Article in German]

Author information

1
Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Schmerztherapie, Onkologie und Palliativmedizin, Klinikum Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Feschnigstraße 11, 9020, Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Österreich. stefan.neuwersch@kabeg.at.
2
Medizinische Universität Graz, Graz, Österreich. stefan.neuwersch@kabeg.at.
3
Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Schmerztherapie, Onkologie und Palliativmedizin, Klinikum Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Feschnigstraße 11, 9020, Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Österreich.
4
Medizinische Universität Graz, Graz, Österreich.
5
Institut für Statistik, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Österreich.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic non-specific low back pain (LBP) causes more disability than any other medical condition worldwide. Electrical muscle stimulation in combination with heat (EMS/H) for management of LBP has yet not been properly studied. Our hypothesis was that EMS/H provides better pain relief and improves subjective and objective data compared to standard treatment.

METHODS:

Between 2015 and 2017, we conducted a 6 week randomized, double-blind, stratified, placebo controlled clinical trial, comparing two different forms of EMS/H with placebo treatment with a follow-up 12 weeks after randomization. Patients >18 years with LBP for >6 months and a pain intensity of numerical rating scale (NRS) ≥4/10 were enrolled.

RESULTS:

A total of 100 patients were recruited. Patients were representative of a LBP population with moderate to severe pain (NRS 5.7/10). After 18 treatments, we found a statistically significant pain reduction, which was also observed at the 12 week follow-up.

CONCLUSION:

EMS/H is an effective and safe method for managing LBP. A clinically relevant and persisting pain reduction, a stable decrease in self-perceived disability, an improvement in both mood and affective characterization as well as sensory characterization of pain, muscle strength and endurance may have a significant impact on the management of LBP.

KEYWORDS:

EMS; EMS/W; Heat; Low back pain; Muscle stimulation

PMID:
31784906
DOI:
10.1007/s00482-019-00431-2

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