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Published online: 2023-10-20

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Can selected physiotherapeutic techniques really help in treating back pain and improving the quality of life of advanced cancer patients: a randomised controlled study

Magdalena Markowska1, Szymon Pasiut1, Andrzej Markowski1, Katarzyna Filar-Mierzwa1, Anna Ścisłowska-Czarnecka1, Aneta Bac1


Background: The available literature lacks studies using the KinesioTaping (KT) method and the hold-relax (HR) technique in working with advanced cancer patients.

Patients and methods: The study involved 72 patients (38 women and 34 men), diagnosed with advanced cancer. Patients were randomly assigned either to the KT group (exercise programme and KT), HR group [exercise programme and the HR technique of the proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) method] or C group (a control group, exercise programme). To assess selected parameters the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) scale and Edmonton Symptom Assessment System — revised (ESAS-r) were used. The physiotherapeutic programme lasted three weeks and took place 5 days a week for 30 minutes within each group. Additionally, in the KT group, kinesio tapes were applied on the paraspinal muscles of the lumbar spine. In the HR group the therapy with the hold-relax technique was applied.

Results: There was a statistically significant decrease in pain in all groups and an improvement in the quality of life in patients from both experimental groups. Those changes were significantly greater in the KT group than in both the C group and the HR group.

Conclusions: Both KT and HR techniques of the PNF method are effective in reducing pain and improving the quality of life in the examined advanced cancer patients, however, KT has a stronger impact.

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