Content » Vol 45, Issue 3

Original report

Patients’ experience of health three years after structured physiotherapy or surgery for lumbar disc herniation

Gunilla Limbäck Svensson , Gunilla Kjellby Wendt, Roland Thomeé, Ella Danielson
Department of Orthopaedics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, 413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1105


Objective: To describe the experience of health among patients 3 years after treatment with a structured physiotherapy model or surgery for lumbar disc herniation.
Design: A qualitative research study.
Subjects/patients: Patients were referred to the orthopaedic clinic at Sahlgrenska University Hospital with sciatica due to lumbar disc herniation. Twenty patients who were eligible for surgery were treated either with a structured physio-therapy model or with surgery.
Methods: Open-ended interviews were conducted and analysed using content analysis.
Results: Findings were grouped into two themes: feeling of well-being and feeling of ill-being. In the group treated with structured physiotherapy there were a high number of codes in the feeling of well-being theme. In the group treated with surgery there were a high number of codes in the feeling of ill-being theme.
Conclusion: Patients treated with structured physiotherapy or surgery experienced feelings of well-being and ill-being 3 years after treatment. Patients treated with physiotherapy and surgery described varying experiences of health 3 years after treatment for lumbar disc herniation. It can be speculated that the experience of well-being may be explained by the ability of structured physiotherapy treatments to empower patients.

Lay Abstract


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