A critical appraisal of "Heat or cold for the relief of low back pain?"




Douglass, Lauren

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This is a critical appraisal of a 1967 study regarding the difference that heat packs and ice massages have as a treatment of low back pain. Although published in a prestigious physical therapy journal, this article has many holes in the research and design when compared to the thorough standards of today's studies. Each section of the 1967 study is discussed in detail, listing both good and bad aspects of the article, ultimately coming to the conclusion that this study does not provide enough statistically sound evidence to implement their findings into today's clinics. The findings suggest that heat treatment is better suited for acute low back pain (less than forty-eight hours post onset of pain) and that ice massage is better suited for chronic low back pain (more than fourteen days post onset of pain).