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2020 May 02

Int J Biometeorol

A multicentre randomized controlled follow-up study of the effects of the underwater traction therapy in chronic low back pain.


Gáti T, Czímer É, Cserháti G, Fehér J, Oláh M, Kulisch Á, Mándó Z, Bender T
Int J Biometeorol. 2020 May 02.
PMID: 32361959.


Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most costly diseases in the developed world. This study aimed to investigate the effects of underwater traction therapy on chronic low back pain. The primary objective was to prove that underwater traction therapy has favorable effects on LBP. Our secondary objective was to evaluate whether it also leads to improvement in the quality of life. This is a prospective, multicenter, follow-up study. A total of 176 patients with more than 3 months of low back pain enrolled from outpatient clinics were randomized into three groups: underwater weight bath traction therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); weight bath; and only NSAIDs. The following parameters were measured before, right after, and 9 weeks after the 3-week therapy: levels of low back pain in rest and during activity were tested using the visual analogue scale (VAS), the Oswestry Low Back Disability Questionnaire, and the EuroQol-5D-5L Questionnaire.The VAS levels improved significantly (p < 0.05) in both underwater weight bath traction therapy groups by the end of the treatment, whereas the improvement in the third group was not statistically significant. Furthermore, the improvements measured in the groups receiving traction therapy were persistent during the follow-up period. There were no significant changes in the Oswestry Index or the EuroQol-5D-5L without VAS parameters in any of the groups.Based on our results, for patients suffering from LBP pain who underwent underwater weight bath traction therapy, there were favorable impacts on the pain levels at rest or during activity. Clinical trial registration ID: NCT03488498, April 5, 2018.