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The influence of Physiotherapy on Pulmonary Function of Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain

Low back pain (LBP) is one of the biggest health problems on a global scale, which, according to the literature review, has an indirect impact on chest mobility, and according to our predicition, consequently also on the respiratory function. For this reason, we decided to investigate the characteristics of chronic low back pain and its risk factors, as well as the correlation between LBP and its effect on respiratory function in patients with non-specific chronic LBP in our research sample. We used a quantitative research method with samples of nineteen subjects measured at the beginning and at the end of eight individually prescribed analgesic physical treatments in an ambulatory physiotherapy. The testing included measurements of pain intensities with a standardized visual analogue scale (VAL) and a modified Ronald-Morrison questionnaire (MRMV), as well as measurements of pulmonary function through spirometry. The obtained data was statistically processed, analyzed and displayed with the program XLSTAT and with the use of descriptive and inferential statistics (t-test, ANOVA, and bootstrapping). The results showed that the analgesic physical therapy is an effective method for reducing the intensity of low back pain, as the pain intensity on our sample decreased by approximately 2.5 units or more according to VAS. The statistical feature of the FVC change and the correlation of the FVC change with the change in the intensity of pain under the influence of analgesic physical therapy and the influence of various factors on this change was not confirmed. The minimum deviation of 0.993 or lower values of forced vital capacity (FVC), or less than one percent (0.7%) or more, was only shown in the value of forced vital capacity (FVC) relative to the expected population value. Therefore the correlation has not been confirmed. Despite the well-known fact that patients with chronic LBP have a dysfunctional diaphragm, we did not confirm that these patients have a lower FVC value than their expected population value. The results showed that the FVC of the patients after the analgesic physical therapy did not statistically significantly improve, despite a decrease in the intensity of pain.

Ana Bezovšek
Alma Mater Europaea

Patricija Goubar
Alma Mater Europaea


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