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Background: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a major health issue that impacts function and quality of life. Chronic pain is also associated with decreased tactile acuity. Further investigation of tactile acuity training as a treatment option for the management of CLBP is necessary. A systematic review was conducted to determine if tactile acuity training can improve tactile acuity performance, pain, and function in individuals with CLBP. Methods: PubMed and Google Scholar databases were used. Articles included were published within the last 15 years and participants over the age of 18. Search terms were “chronic low back pain” and “tactile acuity training.” Final inclusion of articles was determined by majority consensus of authors for articles meeting the PICO: The purpose of this review is to determine if training tactile acuity can improve pain and function in individuals with CLBP. Results: Twenty-three abstracts were reviewed with six studies meeting our criteria. Quality assessment of the articles found moderate to high quality evidence. In regard to the outcome of tactile acuity training improving tactile acuity in patients with CLBP, this review showed that there was significant improvement in tactile acuity. For the treatment outcomes of pain and function, the evidence was conflicting. Following tactile acuity training, 4 out of 5 studies showed reduction in pain and 4 out of 5 studies demonstrated improvement in function. Conclusion: Tactile acuity training shows promise as a treatment for CLBP in conjunction with more traditional treatments such as: exercise, spinal stabilization, manual therapy, and dry needling. Further research with higher level of quality should be continued to further provide information on parameters of tactile acuity training that produce the best outcomes in the area of pain and function.

First Advisor

Kory Zimney

Research Area

Physical Therapy