A Randomized Clinical Trial of Continuous Low-Level Heat Therapy for Acute Muscular Low Back Pain in the Workplace

Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.63). 01/2006; 47(12):1298-306. DOI: 10.1097/01.jom.0000184877.01691.a3
Source: PubMed


We sought to compare the therapeutic benefits of ThermaCare Heat Wrap combined with an education program to an education-only program on reducing pain and disability from acute work-related low back pain.
Forty-three eligible patients, aged 20 to 62 years who presented to an occupational injury clinic, were randomized into one of two intervention arms: 1) education regarding back therapy and pain management alone or 2) education regarding back therapy and pain management combined with three consecutive days of topical heat therapy (104 degrees F or 40 degrees C for 8 hours). The primary endpoints in this trial were measures of pain intensity and pain relief levels obtained approximately four times per day for the three consecutive working days of treatment, followed by measures of pain intensity and pain relief levels obtained in three follow-up visits at day 4 and 14 from treatment initiation. The secondary measures were overall impairment due to injury and disability caused by low back pain assessed at Intake, Visit 2 (day 4), 3 (day 7), and 4 (day 14).
A total of 18 individuals enrolled in the education-only group and 25 in the treatment group completed the intervention and all follow-up visits. The general linear model adjusting for age, sex, baseline pain intensity, and pain medication indicated that the topical heat therapy had significantly reduced pain intensity, increased pain relief, and improved disability scores during and after treatment.

Download full-text


Available from: Xuguang Grant Tao, Mar 24, 2014
  • Source
    • "일정한 온도유지가 어려운 더운물주머니, 본 연구에서 사용된 핫팩일 경우에 간격은 20-30분으로 동일하였고 횟수와 간격이 다양하게 제공되었음을 알 수 있다(Dahlen et al., 2007; Hwang, You, Lee, & Park, 2007; Kang, 2001). 최근 요통감소 를 위해 40℃의 온도로 최소 8시간 동안 지속적으로 제공하 였을 때 효과가 있다는 연구들이 시행되었다(Kettenmann et al., 2007; Nadler et al., 2003; Nadler et al., 2002; Tao & Bernacki, 2005) "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose: This study was done to examine the effects of heat therapy on low back pain, blood pressure and pulse rate after percutaneous coronary intervention. Method: The participants in this study were 40 patients who were admitted after having percutaneous coronary intervention. The experimental group, 20 patients, had heat therapy and the control group, 20 patients, maintained a supine position for 12 hours after the intervention. Back pain (VAS), blood pressure and pulse rate were measured just after removal of the sheath, and at 2-hour intervals up to 6 hours. Data were analyzed using SPSS 15.0. Results: The experimental group had significantly lower VAS for low back pain (F=23.44, p=.001). However no significant differences were found between two groups for blood pressure and pulse rate. Conclusion: The findings indicate that heat therapy is effective in reducing low back pain in patients who have had percutaneous coronary intervention. Therefore, heat therapy could be used as nursing intervention percutaneous coronary intervention.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2011
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Acute low back pain with or without sciatica usually is self-limited and has no serious underlying pathology. For most patients, reassurance, pain medications, and advice to stay active are sufficient. A more thorough evaluation is required in selected patients with "red flag" findings associated with an increased risk of cauda equina syndrome, cancer, infection, or fracture. These patients also require closer follow-up and, in some cases, urgent referral to a surgeon. In patients with nonspecific mechanical low back pain, imaging can be delayed for at least four to six weeks, which usually allows the pain to improve. There is good evidence for the effectiveness of acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, skeletal muscle relaxants, heat therapy, physical therapy, and advice to stay active. Spinal manipulative therapy may provide short-term benefits compared with sham therapy but not when compared with conventional treatments. Evidence for the benefit of acupuncture is conflicting, with higher-quality trials showing no benefit. Patient education should focus on the natural history of the back pain, its overall good prognosis, and recommendations for effective treatments.
    Full-text · Article · May 2007 · American family physician
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The management of chronic low back pain (CLBP) has proven to be very challenging in North America, as evidenced by its mounting socioeconomic burden. Choosing among available nonsurgical therapies can be overwhelming for many stakeholders, including patients, health providers, policy makers, and third-party payers. Although all parties share a common goal and wish to use limited health-care resources to support interventions most likely to result in clinically meaningful improvements, there is often uncertainty about the most appropriate intervention for a particular patient. To help understand and evaluate the various commonly used nonsurgical approaches to CLBP, the North American Spine Society has sponsored this special focus issue of The Spine Journal, titled Evidence-Informed Management of Chronic Low Back Pain Without Surgery. Articles in this special focus issue were contributed by leading spine practitioners and researchers, who were invited to summarize the best available evidence for a particular intervention and encouraged to make this information accessible to nonexperts. Each of the articles contains five sections (description, theory, evidence of efficacy, harms, and summary) with common subheadings to facilitate comparison across the 24 different interventions profiled in this special focus issue, blending narrative and systematic review methodology as deemed appropriate by the authors. It is hoped that articles in this special focus issue will be informative and aid in decision making for the many stakeholders evaluating nonsurgical interventions for CLBP.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2008 · The Spine Journal
Show more