Lumbar Spine Functional Restoration Program Evaluated

Program completion likely improves pain and disability associated with lumbar disorders
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic disabling occupational lumbar disorders enrolled in an interdisciplinary functional restoration program will likely achieve normal range of motion (ROM) and quantitative lumbar flexion-relaxation phenomenon (QLFRP), according to a study published in the Oct. 15 issue of Spine.

Tom G. Mayer, M.D., of the University of Texas in Dallas, and colleagues derived cutoff scores for normal root mean square surface electromyography signals and lumbar ROM, and used them to evaluate 135 patients with extreme periods of disability and a high incidence of pre-rehabilitation, post-injury lumbar surgery, including 104 patients who completed a functional restoration program.

The researchers found that achievement of normal QLFRP scores increased from 31 to 74 percent of patients, while normal ROM scores increased from 8 to 63 percent of patients. A majority of patients achieved normal QLFRP and ROM, with another 30 percent showing either normal QLFRP or ROM. Participants with normal QLFRP and ROM made the most significant improvements in participant-reported pain and disability, as compared to 16 percent of patients who failed to meet either normal criterion and made the least improvement.

"Immediately after completing the functional restoration program, patients commonly demonstrate improvements in pain/disability report. Both QLFRP and ROM measures are responsive to these changes from pre- to post-rehabilitation," the authors conclude.

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