It was suggested that I give physical therapy another try for my chronic low back pain. The heat, ultrasound and electrical stimulation was helpful initially but then seemed to decrease in the relief they provided. Could physical therapy really be helpful at this point?
A recent review of studies available to evaluate the benefit of several physical therapy modalities in chronic low back pain failed to identify any eligible studies for the use of interferential current, electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound, and hot and cold packs. The only modality that could be studied involved the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, TENS. While TENS can provide immediate decrease in pain intensity, it does not seem to provide short-term or long-term pain relief or decrease perceived disability. Other physical therapy treatments such as exercise may be beneficial however.