The Efficiency of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy on Chronic Low Back Disorder – Musculoskeletal System Example

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'The Efficiency of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy on Chronic Low Back Disorder' is a good example of a paper on the musculoskeletal system.   The study employs the randomized controlled trials design to successfully carry out a study that shows the effectiveness of using a spinal stabilization program over manual therapy and the provision of education booklets in treating chronic low back disorders. The main aim of the study was to establish the efficacy of manual therapy and the use of education booklets in treating chronic low back disorders over time. The sample comprised 346 patients attending a clinic at a hospital, who were selected using criteria that included age (had to be between 18 and 65 years of age), length of stay with the disorder (at least 12 weeks for the episode preceding the selection), language (literacy in English), and the existence of evidence that the patients would benefit better from other forms of treatment apart from the chosen approaches for the study. The subjects were classified into three categories: one that was introduced to a physical spinal rehabilitation stabilization program based on Panjabi’ s theories, a second was introduced to treatment through diagnosis and clinical reasoning, and the last was introduced to educational forums through which they reviewed various physiological approaches to the treatment of the disorder (with the hope that they would incorporate such in their daily lives to enhance recovery).

The measures used included a pain intensity measure (a self-reported measure of pain ranging between 0 and 100), the modified Oswestry Disability Index, and the quality of life (using the Nottingham Health Profile). The data collected was evaluated after three, six, twelve and twenty-four months.

The results indicated a general reduction in the low back pain scores between the pre-trial and three-month stage, but there were no consistent outcomes thereafter. The spinal stabilization group showed statistically significant improvement in pain reduction and dysfunction at the 6-month stage, and at the one year stage in medication. As such, the spinal stabilization program was found to be more effective than the other methods used. Responses to Questions Yes; the title of the research paper is accurate in the way it ca[ptures the core of the study. The population selection was biased in the sense that respondents whose responses would likely skew the results in a certain way were eliminated using the defined exclusion criterion.

The methods were well evenly weighed and correct, with the exception that the selection of subjects cannot be said to be random as claimed in the article. The findings form the basis of the conclusion with no observable deviations. The discussion captured some of the shortfalls of the study, with the exception of failing to address the failure to use proper randomization. The study raises a question on selection criteria, but it forms a basis for future clinical studies.


Goldby, Moore, Doust, and Trew. A Randomized Controlled Trial Investigating the Efficiency of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy on Chronic Low Back Disorder (2006)
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