Effects of Mulligan Mobilization and Low-Level Laser Therapy on Physical Disability, Pain, and Range of Motion in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Healthcare (Basel). 2020 Jul 29;8(3):237. doi: 10.3390/healthcare8030237.


This study aimed to determine the combined treatment effects of Mulligan sustained natural apophyseal glides (SNAGs) and low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on function, pain, and range of motion (ROM) in patients with chronic low back pain. A total of 49 adults participated in this study and were randomly divided into three groups (SNAGs with LLLT group, SNAGs group, and control group). The participants in the SNAGs with LLLT group received SNAGs for 10 min, LLLT for 10 min, and electrotherapy for 10 min. The SNAGs group received SNAGs for 10 min and electrotherapy for 20 min. The control group received electrotherapy for 30 min. All participants received the assigned treatment for 30 min a day, 3 times a week, for 4 weeks. We used the visual analogue scale (VAS) to measure pain, the modified-modified Schober test (MMST) to measure ROM, and the Roland Morris disability questionnaire (RMDQ) to measure physical disability. Compared to the pre-intervention values, the VAS and MMST scores significantly increased after the intervention in the SNAGs with LLLT group (p = 0.000) and the SNAGs group (p = 0.000). The RMDQ score significantly improved in the SNAGs with LLLT (p = 0.000), SNAGs (p = 0.000) and control (p = 0.025) group after the intervention. The inter-group differences were greater for the SNAGs with LLLT and SNAGs groups than for the control group (p = 0.001), and the difference was greater for the SNAGs with LLLT than for the SNAGs (p = 0.001) with respect to the VAS, MMST, and RMDQ scores. These results indicate that significant improvement in pain, function, and ROM may be achieved by a combination of SNAGs and LLLT to treat chronic low back pain.

Keywords: low back pain; low-level laser therapy; manipulation therapy.