Effects of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound on pain and functional disability in patients with early-stage lumbar spondylolysis: A randomized controlled trial

Fahad Tanveer, Syed Asadullah Arslan, Haider Darain, Ashfaq Ahmad, Syed Amir Gilani, Asif Hanif
Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 2022, 30: 125-131

BACKGROUND: Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound (LIPUS) is beneficial in accelerating fracture recovery, enhancing their capacity to execute tasks of daily life and, as a result, their autonomy.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcomes of routine physical therapy and routine physical therapy along with LIPUS in patients with early-stage lumbar spondylolysis.

METHODS: Thirty-four (29 males and 5 females) patients exhibiting symptomatic low back pain for at least four weeks were recruited and randomly divided into control group (CG) and intervention group (IG) group. Randomization was done by using goldfish bowl method and allocation was done by using sealed envelope method. Parallel assignment was done. Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) was utilized for the measurement of pain and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) for functional disability. Patients were assessed at baseline, at the end of 12th and 20th week. Interventions were applied by two physical therapists (one male and one female) having more than eight years of clinical experience for 10 weeks on alternate days.

RESULTS: Intervention group reported significant percentage change of 47% at 12th week and 65% at 20th week for pain and 42% at 12th week and 81% at 20th week for functional disability compared with 40% at 12th week and 37% at 20th week for pain and 3% at 12th week and 25% at 20th week follow-up for functional disability from baseline in control group.

CONCLUSION: Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound has significantly reduced pain and functional disability in patients with early-stage lumbar spondylolysis by using following parameters; 1.1-MHz oscillation frequency, 1-kHz pulsed frequency, 100-mW/cm2 spatial intensity, 2 ms pulse duration, 100Hz pulse repetition rate, 20% pulse duty cycle, and 20-min duration on alternate days.

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