A pilot study to determine the effect of one physical therapy session on physical activity levels for individuals with chronic low back pain
Swanson, Brian T.
Roddey, Toni S.
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Background: A pilot study was conducted to quantify the effect size of changes in physical activity after of one session of physical therapy for individuals with chronic low back pain and to determine factors that predict daily sedentary activity time. Methods: Fourteen subjects with at least 3 days of physical activity accelerometer data were analyzed before and after one session of physical therapy. Data was analyzed using 1-tailed, paired t-tests with level of significance set at 0.05. Effect sizes were computed using the baseline and post intervention mean differences divided by the baseline and post-intervention differences in the standard deviation. Results: A nonsignificant reduction in steps-per-day and time spent performing sedentary activities, with increases in light and moderate–vigorous physical activity were found (effect size: 0.15–0.33). A nonsignificant decrease in daily sitting and standing time 1 week immediately following the physical therapy session and an increase in daily lying time (p = 0.03) (effect size: 0.23–0.69) were found. Conclusion: One physical therapy session resulted in a small physical activity change for individuals with chronic low back pain. Baseline and post intervention levels of pain catastrophisation and perceptions of disability need to be explored in future studies to determine if these are factors that influence levels of physical activity change for these individuals Results are limited by the small sample size, however the ability to increase physical activity in this population may be of clinical relevance. *This article was published with the assistance of the Texas Woman's University Libraries Open Access Fund. The original article can be found at: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-017-3006-x