Mavromoustakos, S.1*,Beneka, A.2, Malliou, V. 3, Adamidis, A.4, Kellis, E.5, Kagiaoglou, A.2
1Department of Physiotherapy, Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki
2Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Democritus University of Thrace
3Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, University of Athens, Greece
4Physical Therapy Institute,Thessaloniki
5Laboratory of Neuromechanics, Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Serres, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
A randomized controlled trial was used to compare the effects of a 6-week proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) and a General Exercise (GE) program on pain and disability in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) recruited from the outpatient department of a hospital clinic. CLBP patients were randomly assigned into a PNF (n=40) or a General Exercise group (n=40) and trained for 6 weeks, 2 times per week. The PNF group executed 11 exercises from the seated, supine and standing/walking position using various PNF techniques. The GE group followed a standard strengthening and co-ordination program. The measures used were pain (McGill questionnaire), functional disability (Rolland Morris questionnaire) and emotions before, immediately after and 8-weeks after treatment. Pain decreased more in the PNF (45.68% post and 38.05% 8-weekspost-intervention)than the GE group (22.82% post and 5.89%8-weeks post-intervention). Roland Morris scores increased for the PNF group (from 23.35%to 28.51%) while the GE group showed an increase only immediately after the program. Positive emotions increased significantly only for the PNF group (from 53.23% to 55.00%) while there was a reduction in negative emotions for both groups. In conclusion, the use of structured programs utilizing all PNF techniques is recommended for CLBP treatment.
Keywords: Chronic low back pain; PNF treatment; PNF techniques