"With recent concerns around the safety of oral pain medications, both patients and physicians are considering alternative treatment options for acute low back pain," said Edward J. Bernacki, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study's principal investigator. "The dramatic relief we see in workers using CLHT shows that this therapy has clear benefits for low back pain and that it plays an important role in pain management. Physicians and other health care providers in an occupational environment can tell patients that CLHT is a safe and effective alternative for treating acute low back plain."
In the study, 43 patients (age 20 to 62) who visited an occupational injury clinic for low back pain were randomized into one of two intervention arms: 18 patients received education regarding back therapy and pain management alone, while 25 received education regarding back therapy and pain management combined with three consecutive days of CLHT for eight hours continuously (ThermaCare HeatWraps). The heat wrap is a wrap worn over the lower back, under the clothing. It uses an exothermic chemical reaction to deliver a low level of topical heat for at least eight continuous hours. All groups were assessed for measures of pain intensity and pain relief levels four times a day during the three treatment days, followed by measures for pain intensity and pain relief levels obtained in three follow-up visits on days 4, 7, and 14 from the beginning of the treatment. In addition, other measures were obtained and assessed by the Roland-
Contact: Gary Stephenson
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions