An investigation into patient management protocols for low back pain by chiropractors in greater Durban area
Palmer, Robert H.
MetadataShow full item record
The aim of this study was to investigate patient management protocols of low back pain (LBP) by chiropractors in the greater Durban metropolitan area. In this investigation a more generalized approach was chosen to investigate trends within the field of patient management and education for LBP. The study population of 80 chiropractors in the greater Durban metropolitan area, required a minimum response rate of 70% to obtain statistical significance (Esterhuizen, 2008), which was achieved. This study involved a quantitative descriptive design utilizing a questionnaire developed and validated by the researcher and focus group. The questionnaire was comprised of three sections, including personal information, treatment protocols and patient management with advice and education. Statistical analysis involved the use of SPSS version 15.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA), a data analysis tool. Descriptive objectives were analysed with frequency tables and cross-tabulation tables (Esterhuizen, 2008). Demographic variables and practice variables were assessed for association with responses to the questionnaire using Pearson’s Chi square test in the case of categorical demographics and responses (Esterhuizen, 2008). Bar graphs were included to reflect the treatments that were always or frequently used by respondents (Esterhuizen, 2008). There appeared to be a wide range of influences on practice philosophy and methods, independent of demographics and training institute. A chiropractor’s age was regarded as significant with regard to philosophical orientation. However, the majority of these chiropractors obtained their qualifications from international colleges. vi Spinal manipulations directed at quadratus lumborum myofascial trigger points were strongly advocated by respondents. Specific short lever manipulations were the preferred manipulation technique for treatment of LBP. Sacroiliac joint manipulation was also considered important by a significant proportion of respondents. Respondents most commonly recommended the use of mobilizations and cryotherapy when contra-indications to manipulation were evident. There was consensus in the number of days before the first follow-up after an initial treatment for a presentation of acute LBP, where 96.42% of respondents recommended follow-up at day 1 or 2. In chronic LBP first follow-up after initial treatment was recommended by 41.1% of respondents on day 2; 28.6% day 3 and 8.9% on day 1. Management protocols for acute LBP appeared to be more uniform when compared to management of chronic LBP. Despite the variances in philosophy and management protocols amongst respondents, there remains consensus that manual articular manipulation remains the mainstay in chiropractic treatment protocols for both acute and chronic LBP.