Efficacy of Pulsed Low-Frequency Magnetic Field Therapy on Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomised Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial

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Saudi Digital Library
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"Background: Low back pain (LBP) is most frequently musculoskeletal pain condition. Various treatment options are available to treat LBP but with modest outcomes. Researchers have indicated that the use of a weak magnetic field has immediate and long-term benefits. Limited research has been done to ascertain the efficacy of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) for chronic low back pain (CLBP). Objective: To investigate the efficacy of PEMF therapy combined with exercise on cases of CLBP Study design: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial. Methods: 42 patients (22male, 20 female), mean age 42 years, divided into one of two groups: treatment group and control group. The primary outcome measure was (NPRS), Secondary outcome measures were RMDQ-24, PSQI- 6, GPE, and DASS-21 The outcomes were taken at baseline, then 20 minutes after intervention at weeks 3, 6, 9 and 13. Statistical Analysis: A paired t-test was used to compare the differences before and after the interventions for each of the two groups the treatment and control, in addition, an independent t-test was used to compare the two groups at three moments in time: before the intervention, during the intervention weeks 3 , 6 , 9 and at the completion of the treatment week 13. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: A statistically significant improvement in NPRS and RMDQ-24 score for the treatment group at weeks 3,6,9 and 13 (p < 0.05), For the control group there was a significant improvement in NPRS at week 6,9 and week13 (p < 0.05).The analysis of the RMDQ-24 score for the control group, showed no statistically significant difference in the RMDQ-24 score at weeks 3 and 6 However, there was a statistically significant improvement in the RMDQ-24 score in weeks 9 and 13 (p < 0.05), There was a statistically significant improvement in depression and stress scores in the treatment group mostly at week 13 (p < 0.05) For the control group there was a significant improvement in depression and stress scores at weeks 6,9 and 13 (p < 0.05). The analysis showed a significant difference between groups reported in stress score at weeks 9 and 13 only (p < 0.05), However, no difference between groups reported in PSQI-6 and GPE. Conclusion: PEMF therapy improves the outcome of CLBP patients. However, it is not the superior to other treatment options. On the other hand, these findings make it obvious that CLBP is a complex condition and difficult to identify an effective treatment. Therefore, each patient needs to be assessed to tailor a suitable treatment plan."
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