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A Randomized Controlled Trial On The Long‐term Effects Of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Training, On Pain‐related Outcomes And Back Muscle Activity, In Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain

Pattanasin Areeudomwong, Witchayut Wongrat, Nertnapa Neammesri, Thanaporn Thongsakul
Published 2017 · Medicine

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BACKGROUND The role of exercise therapy in improving pain-related clinical outcomes and trunk muscle activity in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) has been widely reported. There is little information on the effect of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) training in patients with CLBP. The purpose of the present study was therefore to investigate the persistence of the effects of PNF training on pain intensity, functional disability, patient satisfaction, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and lower back muscle activity in patients with CLBP. METHODS Forty-two participants with CLBP were randomly assigned either to 4-week PNF training or to a control group receiving a Low back pain educational booklet. Pain-related outcomes, including pain intensity, functional disability, patient satisfaction, HRQOL and lumbar erector spinae (LES) muscle activity, were measured before and after the intervention, and at a follow-up session 12 weeks after the last intervention session. RESULTS Compared with the control group, after undergoing a 4-week PNF training intervention, participants showed a significant reduction in pain intensity and functional disability, and improved patient satisfaction and HRQOL (p < 0.01). These effects were still significant at the 12-week follow-up assessment (p < 0.01). LES muscle activity in the PNF training group was significantly increased throughout the measurement periods compared with controls (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS The study found that 4-week PNF training has positive long-term effects on pain-related outcomes, and increases lower back muscle activity in patients with CLBP.
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