The effect of minimal invasive techniques and physiotherapy on pain and disability in elderly: A retrospective study

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2019;32(1):63-70. doi: 10.3233/BMR-171113.


Background: Low back pain is one of the major musculoskeletal problems seen in elderly, and it's the fifth common cause for hospitalization.

Objective: This retrospective study has determined whether minimal invasive techniques or physiotherapy methods are effective for decreasing pain and improving functions in the geriatric population.

Methods: A retrospective design was used in this study. Sixty-one patients aged ⩾ 65, who were referred to physiotherapy enrolled in the study. The patients were divided into 2 groups; Group 1 received minimal invasive techniques, whereas Group 2 had no surgery or no minimal invasive application. Pressure Pain Threshold (PPT) was used for perceived pain intensity, Semmes Weinstein Monofilaments (SWM) was used to assess tactile sensitivity, and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) was used to determine perceived functional disability. Physiotherapy methods including soft tissue mobilizations, muscle-energy techniques and spinal stabilization exercises were used in the treatment of all patients. The outcomes were evaluated pre- and post-physiotherapy applications.

Results: Significant improvements in PPT were shown in both groups after physiotherapy treatment as to baseline (p< 0.05). Despite the significant improvements in PPT values of all muscles in Group 1, Group 2 had significant improvements in PPT except Hamstring muscles (p< 0.05). Functional disability levels of both groups reduced acc. to ODI, improvement in disability scores was only significant in Group 1 (p< 0.05).

Conclusion: Although both treatments showed pain relief, functional restoration and improvement in hypoesthesia existence; there was no superiority of physiotherapy alone over physiotherapy added minimal invasive treatments in terms of parameters.

Keywords: Low back pain; exercise; facet denervation; geriatrics; rehabilitation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Male
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pain Threshold
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spine
  • Treatment Outcome