A Literature Review of Manual Therapies for the Management of Low Back Pain and a Study Proposal of the Comparison of Three Different Manual Therapies
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Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a common disorder in the U.S., but lacks consensus regarding its treatment. Commonly, manual therapies such as massage, trigger point therapy, and traction are used in conjunction with a rehabilitation program to reduce LBP in the patient. These manual therapies are used to create an optimal environment for the body to heal and/or fix problems due to injury. Massage is theorized to increase blood flow in the soft tissues, which increases oxygen levels within the soft tissue and furthermore provokes the healing process. In addition to this, suggestions of gate control theory contribute to massage’s effectiveness. Trigger point theory has been thought to release tender points in the tissue that are creating pain to normalize the tissue and restore function. Traction is noted to create more space between the vertebrae and therefore counteract compressive forces on the spine that are creating pain.