The relative effectiveness of spinal manipulative therapy compared to interferential current therapy, in the treatment of mechanical thoracic back pain
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate thoracic spine manipulation in comparison to interferential current therapy in order to determine the relative effectiveness of each treatment protocol in the management of mechanical thoracic back pain. The design was that of a single blind, randomized, comparative pilot study. Sixty patients were selected from the general population, of which 30 patients made up group one and the other 30 patients made up group two. After an extensive case history and physical examination the patients were diagnosed with mechanical thoracic spinal pain and then randomly divided into the two groups. The first group received spinal manipulative therapy and the second group received interferential current therapy. All sixty patients received a minimum of three or up to a maximum of six treatments. The treatments were given two to three times a week. Objective and subjective data was collected before the first, second and final treatment in order to assess the effectiveness of each treatment protocol. The objective data consisted of thoracic range of motion using the BROM II goniometer and pain threshold using an algometer. The subjective data was collected using the Short-form Pain Questionnaire, Numerical Pain Rating Scale -101 and the Oswestry Back Pain Disability Index Questionnaire. The data gathered at the relevant appointments was then statistically analyzed, using a 95% (a = 0.05) confidence level. Inter-group analysis was performed using the Unpaired T- test and the Mann- Whitney U - test for the continuous and categorical variables respectively. The Oswestry Back Pain Disability Index Questionnaire showed a statistical difference at the final visit when compared between the two groups.