Lumbosacral Corsets Improve the Outcome of Patients with Non-Specific Acute Low Back Pain
Introduction: Low back pain (LBP) is a common global problem affecting 60-90% of the population in their lifetime. It is a leading reason for hospital admission, healthcare spending, workplace absenteeism and years lived with disability. Up to 90% of patients suffering from low back pain do not have a serious pathology warranting imaging or further intervention. These are categorized as having non- specific low back pain. This has a good prognosis running a short course of 3 to 6 weeks. The use of corset as a physical therapy for non-specific acute LBP has not been clearly supported with scientific evidence. However, it is commonly prescribed for this category of patients. It is important to assess the effect of this modality on the outcome of patients with non- specific acute LBP.
Methods: This study aimed to assess the outcome of patients with non-specific acute low back pain treated with a corset in addition to a standard analgesic protocol compared to those on a standard analgesic protocol alone over 3- week duration at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya.
Results: Seventy-nine patients were analyzed. There was a significant effect of time on the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) (F= (1.38, 106.56) =207.89, P=.000). There was a statistically significant difference in ODI score between the two arms favoring the intervention arm (F (1, 27) =4.23, p=.043). The difference in pain score and days off duty was not statistically significant. The number of days off duty was comparable between the two arms. Compliance to use of corset was good with mean of 1 day off the corset. The maximal change in both ODI and pain score occurred between the first and second reviews indicating maximum clinical improvement within the first week.
Conclusion: Compared to use of analgesia alone, the use of additional corset among patients with non-specific acute LBP resulted in a significant improvement in their back specific disability
Key words: Non-Specific Low Back Pain, Lumbosacral Corset, Disability