Research from the University of Eastern Finland has shown that personalized physical therapy regimens tailored to the patient can improve symptoms of lower back pain better than generalized physical therapy can.
The majority of patients suffering from lower back pain do not get a specific diagnosis, meaning their treatment is generalized and may not fix their specific problem effectively. Published in the European Journal of Physiotherapy and BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, this study found that in the case of patients with impaired movement control, completing personalized physiotherapy exercises as opposed to a general regimen produced clinically better results in patients’ mobility, level of disability, and functional ability.
To conduct this survey, researchers gathered 70 patients who had been diagnosed with movement control impairment and split them into two groups. The first received personally tailored exercise regimens that focused on targeting their condition, while the second were given a generic exercise program. Patients were observed over the course of three months and were asked to report on their condition after each of five physical therapy sessions by filling out a questionnaire that tracked their level of disability caused by back pain. They were also monitored over a 12-month follow-up period, and it was found that both groups experienced improvement in symptoms that lasted through the 12 months. However, those who participated in the personalized physical therapy saw statistically better improvements in their level of disability and their functional ability.