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Study For Low Back Pain Shows Significant Improvement

Posted by Vicki on 10/09/2018


RPT's Quality Assurance Study for the 3rd quarter of 2016 was done for patients who had low back pain (LBP). These patients were issued the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire. The questionnaire had patients rate 10 different categories on their life to include:  pain intensity, personal care, lifting, walking, sitting, standing, sleeping, social life, traveling and changing degrees of pain. The patient was able to choose from 5 different answers with “0” being no pain and “5” being maximal pain and impact on their life. The lower the score, the less pain and more functional the patient is. A total of 26 LBP patients filled their initial and final questionnaire and below are the results. These patients were randomly selected.  

  • 26 Surveys were completed.
  • Average number of visits was 16.
  • Average initial score was 47% (46.87%) impairment (min = 22% and max = 88.75%).
  • Average follow up score was 28% (28.49%) impairment (min = 0% and max = 73.75%).
  • 25 out of 26 patients showed an overall improvement as noted by the LBP Disability Questionnaire (96%).
  • The percent improvement from 47% to 28% impairment represents a significant improvement.  


It should be noted that it is generally accepted that 10% point change with the Oswestry is clinically significant. At 19 % point change this is a clinically significant improvement. Patients in this survey had no recent low back surgeries. As noted above patients were randomly selected by a non-healthcare provider to eliminate bias.


Study was conducted by Mark Ward, PT 4058.