Comparison of the Effectiveness of Telerehabilitation and Conventional Rehabilitation in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial


  • Threenuch Amornpinyokiat Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, King Memorial Taksin Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand


conventional rehabilitation, chronic low back pain, exercise, telerehabilitation


Objectives: To compare the pain numeric rating scale (NRS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) between telerehabilitation (TR) and conventional rehabilitation (CR) in patients with chronic low back pain

Study design: A randomized controlled trial

Setting: Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, King Taksin Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand

Subjects: Thirty-six participants with chronic low back pain

Methods: Participants were allocated by randomization into two groups. The conventional rehabilitation (CR) group (n = 18) was treated with a home exercise program demonstrated by a Bangkok Medical Association (BMA) specialist at the hospital, and the telerehabilitation (TR) group (n = 18) was treated with the same home exercise program by a BMA specialist via a video link. Participants in both groups were asked to do the exercises at home once a day for 8 weeks, with 10 repetitions of each exercise. NRS and ODI of both groups were rated prior to the exercise program and again at the end of the eight-week exercise program.

Results: Before beginning the exercises, the two groups had no statistically significant difference in either NRS (p = 1.00) or ODI (p = 0.97). After the 8-week exercise program, the NRS of the TR group was significantly lower than that of the CR group (p = 0.03) although the ODI was not significantly different between the two groups (p = 0.90).  Group analysis found that NRS was significantly reduced by 2.06 in the CR group (p = 0.00) and 3.06 in the TR group (p = 0.00) and that ODI was significantly decreased by 12.26 in the CR group (p = 0.00) and by 12.13 in the TR group (p = 0.00) at the end of the study.

Conclusions: In treating chronic low back pain, telerehabilitation is not superior to conventional rehabilitation in reducing chronic pain, disability-related low back pain and is an option for individuals who can access the telerehabilitation service.


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