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Table 2 Classification of physical therapies for neck, back and shoulder pain according to the evidence on effectiveness from selected systematic reviews (SRs) and clinical practice guidelines (CPGs)a

From: Avoidable costs of physical treatments for chronic back, neck and shoulder pain within the Spanish National Health Service: a cross-sectional study

Form of treatment Neck Pain Back Pain Shoulder Pain
  SRs CPGs C† SRs CPGs C SRs CPGs C
  E‡ IE§ IA| R# NR*   E IE IA I R NR   E IE IA I R NR  
Exercises 21, 30, 33     19, 39, 40, 45   E 26, 29, 35     42, 43, 46, 47   E 29, 30, 33, 36     44, 48, 49   E
Manual mobilization 32 34    41, 45   E    43 28    I 29     48   E
Massage   20     19 IE ND ND ND ND ND ND IA ND ND ND ND ND ND IA
Thermotherapy ND ND ND ND ND ND IA    27, 43    42 IE ND ND ND ND ND ND IA
TENS   22      IE    35, 43 24, 36   42 I ND ND ND ND ND ND IA
Ultrasounds       19 IE    35, 43    42 IE       49 IE
Hot compresses ND ND ND ND ND ND IA    43    42 IE ND ND ND ND ND ND IA
Electrical stimulation     22    I    35, 43    42 IE ND ND ND ND ND ND IA
Traction       19 IE    35, 43 25   42 I ND ND ND ND ND ND IA
Short wave ND ND ND ND ND ND IA    35, 43    42 IE     37, 38    I
Cutaneous laser     31    I    35, 43 23   42 I       49 IE
Iontophoresis     22    I ND ND ND ND ND ND IA ND ND ND ND ND ND IA
Magnetotherapy     22    I ND ND ND ND ND ND IA ND ND ND ND ND ND IA
  1. aSRs and CPGs are cited by its reference number.
  2. C Classification in this study. ‡E effective; §IE inconclusive effectiveness; || IA insufficiently assessed, ¶ I ineffective. #R CPGs recommending the use of the therapy. *NR CPGs not recommending the therapy. ND No data available from SRs or CPGs.