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Physiological effects of physical therapy interventions on lumbar intervertebral discs

The use of physical therapy has been recommended in the
treatment of low back pain based on primarily mechanical and neurophysiological
effects. Recent studies have measured the physiological effects of physical
therapy interventions, including manual therapy and traction, on the
intervertebral discs (IVD), and these findings may have implications for the
long-term management or even prevention of low back pain. PURPOSE: The objective
of this systematic review is to investigate the literature regarding possible
physiological effects of physical therapy interventions on the intervertebral
disc (IVD). STUDY DESIGN: Systematic Review. METHODS: A literature search of
published articles through December 2014 resulted in the retrieval of 8 clinical
studies assessing the influence of physical therapy interventions on the
physiology of the IVD. RESULTS: Three studies, including two using animal models,
investigated the effects of 30-minute intermittent traction on disc height. One
in vivo animal study and two studies using human subjects assessed changes of
disc height associated with static traction. Three studies investigated the
effects of lumbar spine manipulation and mobilization on changes in water
diffusion within the IVD. All studies confirmed, either directly or indirectly,
that their respective intervention influenced disc physiology primarily through
water flow. CONCLUSION: Physical therapy interventions may have an effect on the
physiology of the IVD, primarily through water diffusion and molecular transport,
which are important for the health of the IVD.

Langue : ANGLAIS

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