The Effect of Exercise and Shortwave Diathermy Treatment on the Quality of Life of Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain

BACKGROUND/AIMSThis study aimed to determine the effects of back school therapy, a home exercise program, and shortwave diathermy treatment on the quality of life of patients with chronic low back pain. MATERIAL and METHODSIn this interventional study, we evaluated 90 patients who were admitted to our clinic from 2006 to 2007 and had been followed-up for their low back pain complaints that had been present for at least 6 months. These patients were randomized into 3 groups after being subjected to back school therapy and home exercise programs. Placebo shortwave, continuous shortwave diathermy, and pulsed shortwave diathermy treat-ments were applied to these three groups, respectively. The Short form 36 (SF-36) was used to evaluate the quality of life of the study groups.RESULTSIn this study, statistically significant recovery was achieved in all the three groups in terms of physical function, role limitations due to physical problems, and bodily pain criteria. Those who received the diathermy therapy had higher mean scores in terms of all the three criteria men-tioned above.CONCLUSIONSignificant improvements were achieved within the study groups in terms of all the above-mentioned criteria, except for “role limitations due to emotional problems”, as measured by SF-36. However, we could not find any significant difference between the groups in terms of the quality of life.

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