Rheumatology International

, Volume 33, Issue 7, pp 1737–1744 | Cite as

Is phonophoresis effective in the treatment of chronic low back pain? A single-blind randomized controlled trial

  • Dilek DurmusEmail author
  • Gamze Alayli
  • Ahmet Salim Goktepe
  • Mehmet Ali Taskaynatan
  • Ayhan Bilgici
  • Omer Kuru
Original Article


The aim of this trial is to investigate and compare the effects of phonophoresis (PP) and ultrasound (US) therapy on pain, disability, trunk muscle strength, walking performance, spinal mobility, quality of life (QOL), and depression in the patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP). A total of 60 patients with definite CLBP were included in this study. The patients were randomized into three groups. Group 1 (n = 20) was accepted as the control group and was given only exercises. Group 2 (n = 20) received US treatment and exercises. Group 3 (n = 20) received PP and exercises. All of the programs were performed 3 days a week, for 6 weeks. The pain (visual analog scale, VAS), disability (Oswestry Disability Questionnaire, ODQ and pain disability index, PDI), walking performance (6 min walking test, 6MWT), depression (Beck Depression Inventory scores, BDI), and QOL (Short Form 36, SF-36) of all participants were evaluated. The trunk muscle strength was measured with a handheld dynamometer. All of the groups showed statistically significant improvements in pain, disability, muscle strength, endurance, 6MWT, mobility, QOL, and depression. The intergroup comparison showed significant differences in VAS pain, 6MWT, and EMS, among three groups. These differences were statistically significant in groups 2 and 3 compared with the group 1. The intergroup comparison showed significant difference in pain, physical function, and energy subgroups of SF-36. The differences were statistically in group 3 compared with group 1 and 2. We observed that US and PP treatments were effective in the treatment of patients with CLBP but PP was not found to be superior over ultrasound therapy.


Chronic low back pain Phonophoresis Ultrasound Trunk muscle strength Pain Disability Endurance Quality of life Depression 



The authors thank Tulin Durmus for the assistance for the editing of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dilek Durmus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gamze Alayli
    • 1
  • Ahmet Salim Goktepe
    • 2
  • Mehmet Ali Taskaynatan
    • 2
  • Ayhan Bilgici
    • 1
  • Omer Kuru
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical FacultyOndokuz Mayis UniversitySamsunTurkey
  2. 2.Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationRehabilitation HospitalBilkent, AnkaraTurkey

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