A new study released today supports that continuous low-level heat wrap therapy (CLHT) can significantly reduce acute low back pain and improve functional outcomes in patients who use CLHT with exercise as compared to those who do not. The results of the study were presented today at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine.

Restorative exercise and physical therapy are common modalities for treating acute low back pain. But little is known about the additive effects of a combination treatment of palliative processes such as CLHT with exercise in acute low back pain. However, earlier clinical studies have shown that CLHT can reduce muscle and joint pain better than the oral analgesics, acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

"This is the first time we found that subjects who exercised with CLHT had 70% less lower back pain, 139% greater reduction in disability and 95% improvement in functional ability as compared to subjects who exercised without CLHT.," said John Mayer, Ph.D., Director of Research at U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation. "Simply wearing a portable heat wrap in conjunction with exercise cut pain and disability approximately in half."

About the Study

In the study one hundred patients (age 31.2+/-10.6 years) with non-specific low back pain of less than three months duration were randomized to one of four groups: CLHT alone (ThermaCare Heatwraps, n=25); directional preference-based exercise alone (Exercise, n=25); combination of CLHT and exercise (CLHT+Exer, n=24); or control (Instructional Booklet, n=26). Treatment was administered for five consecutive days and included four visits to the study center over one week. Outcome measures were functional ability assessed by the Multidimensional Task Ability Profile, disability assessed by the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire, and pain relief assessed by a 6- point verbal rating scale.

About US Spine and Sport Foundation

U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation is a non-profit research and education organization that was founded in 1994 by Vert Mooney, M.D., a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon. The Foundation is dedicated to conduct clinical research to: 1) Assess products, services, and interventions that have the potential to enhance musculoskeletal function, expedite recovery from injury, or prevent functional loss, and 2) Develop and assess novel measurement systems for musculoskeletal function.

Please visit http://www.spineandsport.com/foundation for more information about the Foundation.

U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation