Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Low-level heat wrap therapy safely reduces low back pain and improves mobility in the workplace

23.01.2006


The use of continuous low-level heat wrap therapy (CLHT) significantly reduces acute low back pain and related disability and improves occupational performance of employees in physically demanding jobs suffering from acute low back pain, according to a Johns Hopkins study published in the December 2005 issue of The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

"With recent concerns around the safety of oral pain medications, both patients and physicians are considering alternative treatment options for acute low back pain," said Edward J. Bernacki, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study’s principal investigator. "The dramatic relief we see in workers using CLHT shows that this therapy has clear benefits for low back pain and that it plays an important role in pain management. Physicians and other health care providers in an occupational environment can tell patients that CLHT is a safe and effective alternative for treating acute low back plain."

In the study, 43 patients (age 20 to 62) who visited an occupational injury clinic for low back pain were randomized into one of two intervention arms: 18 patients received education regarding back therapy and pain management alone, while 25 received education regarding back therapy and pain management combined with three consecutive days of CLHT for eight hours continuously (ThermaCare® HeatWraps). The heat wrap is a wrap worn over the lower back, under the clothing. It uses an exothermic chemical reaction to deliver a low level of topical heat for at least eight continuous hours. All groups were assessed for measures of pain intensity and pain relief levels four times a day during the three treatment days, followed by measures for pain intensity and pain relief levels obtained in three follow-up visits on days 4, 7, and 14 from the beginning of the treatment. In addition, other measures were obtained and assessed by the Roland-Morris Low Back Disability Questionnaire and the Lifeware Musculoskeletal Abbreviated Assessment Form.

Patients who received CLHT for low back pain over a three-day period in conjunction with pain management education experienced rapid and significant reduction in pain intensity and greater pain relief when compared to patients who only received pain education. Patients on CLHT showed a 52 percent reduction in pain intensity and a 43 percent improvement in pain relief within one day of treatment as compared to the reference group. Both pain intensity reduction and pain relief were maintained for the three days of treatment with CLHT at 60 percent and 41 percent, respectively. Additionally, the benefits of pain relief and pain intensity reduction were maintained at a significant level in the CLHT patients in a follow-up period on day 4 and day 14 after treatment was discontinued.



Low back pain is one of the most common and therefore costly medical problems in industrialized countries, according to Bernacki, who also directs the Hopkins Department of Health, Safety and the Environment. Approximately 50 percent of working-age people in the United States are reported to suffer from acute low back pain every year, and it is estimated that the annual productivity loss from this condition totals between $20 and $50 billion. While guidelines for treating back pain are available, little has been done to translate these recommendations into occupational management to prevent episodic disability and loss of productivity and to improve employee effectiveness in the workplace, notes Bernacki.

Gary Stephenson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>