Determining effectiveness of passive gravity assisted traction (PGAT) device in management of low back pain
Anecdotal evidence supports stretching exercises to minimize symptoms of low back pain and improve function. This study aimed to assess whether a passive gravity assisted traction (PGAT) device can reduce LBP through stretching techniques.
Sixty-seven participants with mechanical LBP were randomly assigned to a control or intervention group for 4 weeks, the intervention group receiving standardized advice and PGAT device. The control group received standardized advice. Questionnaire assessment included Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ), Patient Reported Outcome Measure (PROMs), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Core Outcome Measures Index (COMI).
Statistically significant score reduction in RMDQ (p=0.01) occurred within the intervention group and PROMs (p=0.01) when comparing intervention to control. No significant differences (p=0.06) within the control group were detected. Within the intervention group significant reductions in ‘average’ pain over the previous 24 hours, 7 days and ‘worst’ pain scores over previous 7 days (p<0.05). Significant decreases in ‘average’ and ‘worst’ pain (p=0.01) when comparing intervention to control group when rating an activity that participants found difficult to do, due to low back pain.
Improvements in low back pain demonstrated within the intervention group and comparing intervention to control group. Further research should consider assessing subgroups of posture types to compare response between groups. The use of PGAT devises such as LumbaCurve™ may be useful in the management of back pain.
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