Virtual walking could be an emerging physiotherapy approach for patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain

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Virtual walking could be an emerging physiotherapy approach for patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions encountered by health care professionals. It affects people of all ages, especially women and elder people.There is no assured treatment for low back pain; however, it can be manaed well with proper approach.Low back pain rehabilitation takes a long period of time, while patients may lack motivation to finish the entire course of treatment. Fortunately, the advancement of computing hardware and software offers a virtual reality based solution in the rehabilitation field.

In this study, researchers investigated virtual reality (VR) walking that was found to reduce pain and fear of movement (kinesiophobia) in such patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the short-term effect of the virtual reality on pain, function, and kinesiophobia in patients with subacute and chronic non-specific low-back pain.

To evaluate this, researchers conducted randomised controlled trial, randomized 44 participants into one of two groups: one group received VR intervention and the second group (control group)  received traditional physiotherapy. Before and after treatment, Visual Analog Scale (VAS), TAMPA Kinesiophobia Scale (TKS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Nottingham Health Profile (NHP), Timed-up and go Test (TUG), 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), and Single-Leg Balance Test were assessed.

Both the study groups showed improvement in all the investigated parameters. However, VAS, TKS, TUG, and 6MWT scores showed significant differences in favor of the experimental group. Therefore,  findings clearly showed that virtual reality walking lessens the pain and kinesiophobia, and improved function in patients with subacute and chronic non-specific low-back pain. Thus, irtual walking could be an exciting future tool for physiotherapy treatment.

Source:

European spine journal

Link to the source:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00586-016-4892-7

Original title of article:

Is physiotherapy integrated virtual walking effective on pain, function, and kinesiophobia in patients with non-specific low-back pain? Randomised controlled trial

Authors:

Louise Taber, Stacy Baldridge, Ellie He & Steven R. Ripa

European spine journal
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