The Effectiveness and Safety of Manual Therapy on Pain and Disability in Older Persons With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review of the literature of the effectiveness and safety of manual therapy interventions on pain and disability in older persons with chronic low back pain (LBP).

Methods

A literature search of 4 electronic databases was performed (PubMed, EMBASE, OVID, and CINAHL). Inclusion criteria included randomized controlled trials of manual therapy interventions on older persons who had chronic LBP. Effectiveness was determined by extracting and examining outcomes for pain and disability, with safety determined by the report of adverse events. The PEDro scale was used for quality assessment of eligible studies.

Results

The search identified 405 articles, and 38 full-text articles were assessed. Four studies met the inclusion criteria. All trials were of good methodologic quality and had a low risk of bias. The included studies provided moderate evidence supporting the use of manual therapy to reduce pain levels and alleviate disability.

Conclusions

A limited number of studies have investigated the effectiveness and safety of manual therapy in the management of older people with chronic LBP. The current evidence to make firm clinical recommendations is limited. Research with appropriately designed trials to investigate the effectiveness and safety of manual therapy interventions in older persons with chronic LBP is required.

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