Outcomes and adverse events from physiotherapy functional restoration for lumbar disc herniation with associated radiculopathy Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: To report the outcomes and adverse events of people diagnosed with lumbar disc herniation with associated radiculopathy (LDHR) who were treated with a physiotherapy functional restoration programme. METHOD: Data on functional outcome (Oswestry score), work status, global rating of change, and adverse events were extracted from the files of all people with LDHR treated by three physiotherapists using functional restoration principles from 2001 to 2009. RESULTS: Ninety-five participants were included. The Oswestry score reduced by a mean of 15.9 (95% CI, 11.8-20.1) points between baseline and discharge following a mean (SD) of 8.7 (9.4) months of treatment. The proportion of participants working full-time increased from 37% to 67% between baseline and discharge (p < 0.001). Eighty per cent of participants reported overall improvement between baseline and discharge on the global rating of change scale (p < 0.001). Minor adverse events were reported by eight (8%) participants, while one (1%) participant developed adhesive capsulitis. CONCLUSION: People with LDHR who undertook a physiotherapy functional restoration programme achieved significant improvements in Oswestry disability scores, work status, and global rating of change, with few adverse events reported. A randomised controlled trial is warranted to determine the efficacy of functional restoration for people with this condition.

publication date

  • January 2011