Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of lumbar extension traction with stretching and infrared radiation compared with stretching and infrared radiation alone on the lumbar curve, pain, and intervertebral movements of patients with chronic mechanical low back pain (CMLBP).
Methods: This randomized clinical study with 3-month follow-up was completed at the Cairo University research laboratory. Eighty patients (age ranged from 40 to 50 years) with CMLBP and a hypolordotic lumbar spine were randomly assigned to traction or a comparison group. The comparison group (n = 40) received stretching exercises and infrared radiation, whereas the traction group (n = 40) received lumbar extension traction in addition to stretching exercises and infrared radiation. The absolute rotatory angle, intervertebral movements, and visual analog scale were measured for all patients at 3 intervals.
Results: The results revealed a statistically significant difference between the groups at 2 follow-up time points compared with the baseline values for the translational and sagittal rotational movements of L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1, and L2-L3(posttreatment) and absolute rotatory angle (P < .01). There were no statistically significant changes in pain (P = .1 and .3) and L1-L2 (P = .072 and .076) or L2-L3 (at follow-up; P = .3), and there was no significant difference between all the previous variables adjusted to the groups' baseline outcome interaction (P > .01).
Conclusion: Lumbar extension traction with stretching exercises and infrared radiation was superior to stretching exercises and infrared radiation alone for improving the sagittal lumbar curve, pain, and intervertebral movement in CMLBP.
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