Background It is assumed that subacute low back pain treatment will be longer in older patients due to comorbidity
Objectives to determine the influence of age on therapeutic outcome in patients with subacute low back pain
Methods Prospective study included 100 outpatients (40 male and 60 female), aged 48,1±10,9 years with subacute non-specific low back pain. Patients were treated at the Institute of Rheumatology, Belgrade, year 2010/12. Three groups were formed according to age: Group1-younger than 45 years (36 patients), Group 2-from 45 to 54 years old (30 patients) and Group3-older than 55 years (34 patients). All patients underwent the same medication (paracetamol 1500mg/day) and physical therapy (transcutaneus electrical nerve stimulation and exercise) during two weeks. The following variables were measured before and after the treatment: low back pain intensity, spinal mobility and functional status of the patients. The intensity of low back pain was measured with Visual Analogue Scale (VAS mm), spinal mobility with finger- floor test (F-F cm) and the functional status with Quebec Back Pain Disability Score (QBPDS). Analyses were carried out using SPSS 16.0 (descriptive methods: mean, standard deviation and analytic methods: T test, Kruskal Wollis and Mann Whitney test).
Results Mean pain intensity was 73,7±11,9 before and 29,7±23,7 after the treatment in Group 1, 73,7±11,0 before and 29,0±25,0 after the treatment in Group 2, and 72,5±12,7 before and 33,2±18,5 after the treatment in Group 3. Mean F-F test was 40,3±14,2 before and 17,3±10,5 after the treatment in Group 1, 47,3±18,1 before and 25,5±18,2 after the treatment in Group 2 and 45,5±14,9 before and 25,7±14,8 after the treatment in Group 3. Mean QBPDS was 63,4±16,1 before and 28,9±19,7 after the treatment in Group 1, 60,1±13,3 before and 28,2±19,9 after the treatment in Group 2 and 63,1±12,8 before and 34,7±14,1 after the treatment in Group 3. Statistically significant differences were registered in pain intensity (VAS), spinal mobility (FF test) and the functional status (QBPDS) for every of the investigated patient groups before after the treatment (p<0.001). After the treatment, comparison between group 1 and 2, as well as between group 2 and 3 did not show differences concerning pain intensity (p=0,867,p=0,194), spinal mobility (p=0,092,p=0,757) and functional status (p=0,849,p=0,140). Concerning group 1 and 3, there was no significant difference in VAS (p=0,347) and functional status (p=0,112), however significant difference was found in spinal mobility (p=0,023).
Conclusions There was no difference in pain and functional status before and after the treatment between different-aged patient groups with subacute low back pain. Better spinal mobility was reached in the group of patients younger than 44 years compared to patients older than 55 years, but it had no influence on functional status.
Disclosure of Interest : None declared