Background Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions and can lead to disability. Aerobic fitness exercises have recently been suggested as important in the management of pain and physical disability of LBP patients, but there are still no studies that prove the best exercise modality for this condition. One proposed modality is the Deep Water Running (DWR) which are aquatic conditioning exercises that simulates normal running on soil.
Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness of Deep Water Running in the treatment of chronic nonspecific low back pain.
Methods It was a randomized controlled trial with a duration of 16 weeks with evaluations performed before the intervention and 8 and 16 weeks after the beginning of the training. The population was composed of 60 patients aged over 18 years with diagnosis of chronic nonspecific low back pain. The intervention group performed aerobic conditioning exercise (Deep Water Running) in a heated pool. The sessions had duration of 50 minutes and frequency of 3 times a week for 16 weeks and with 70% of the maximum heart rate, with 10 bpm less for the difference in the behavior of HR in aquatic environment. The control group underwent aerobic conditioning by treadmill exercise for 50 minutes, 3 times a week for 16 weeks, and also with 70% of maximal heart rate. Evaluation instruments: Visual analog pain scale (EVA) in cm; Likert Scale of pain improvement and worsening according to the patient and according to the evaluator; Functional capacity through the Roland-Morris questionnaire and 6-minute walk test; SF-36 for general quality of life; And amount of anti-inflammatories used during the study period. Evaluations were performed by an evaluator who was unaware of the patient allocation group.
Results The two groups were homogeneous regarding most clinical demographic characteristics in the initial evaluation. The two groups showed statistically significant improvement in the variables Roland Morris, EVA for pain and Time up and go, but no statistically significant differences were found between groups. At the Likert scale, the 6-minute walk test and the amount of anti-inflammatories used during the study, no significant differences were found, the two groups remained unchanged. No adverse events were observed in either group during the exercise program.
Conclusions Deep water running aerobic exercise is as effective as treadmill walking in improving pain and functional capacity in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared