Objective: The purpose of this research is to clarify whether the current situation of the lower back pain prevention education of manual therapists is different between the colleges for sighted persons and those for the visually impaired. This research investigated the current situation of the guidance using an up-and-down type treatment table and the current situation of lower back pain prevention education at manual therapist colleges in Japan.
Method: A mail-in survey was conducted for 85 colleges providing a manual therapist training program. For data analysis, descriptive statistics were used to calculate proportions. The type of colleges and implementation of lower back pain prevention education were chi-square tested against other questions.
Results: Of the 52 colleges that responded to the survey form, those for sighted persons which offered lower back pain prevention education numbered 8 of 8 (100%), while such institutions for the visually impaired were 22 of 44 (50%) (p<0.001). Among the 51 colleges responding to the question about the up-and-down treatment table, 1 in 8 (12.5%) institutions for the sighted used the device, as did 43 of 43 (100%) (p<0.001) institutions for the visually impaired. Of the 44 colleges which use the up-and-down type treatment table, 38 (86.4%) taught the height of the treatment table and 43 (97.7%) taught the posture, but there was no common guidance method used by a majority of the colleges. Among the 44 colleges using the up-and-down type treatment table, those which provided lower back pain prevention education and taught the height of the treatment table were 23 of 23 (100％) (p＝0.008).
Discussion: Manual therapist colleges have paid attention to teaching a posture, but that instruction is not connected to lower back pain prevention by teaching the height of a treatment table. Training colleges need a common teaching method to give systematic lower back pain prevention education.
Conclusion: Manual therapist training differs by environment for sighted and visually impaired students, suggesting that teaching method of lower back pain prevention education is different.