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  • NYT Says Don't Stop Believin' (in Exercise for LBP)

    PT in Motion News recently covered a study and a Cochrane systematic review touting the positive effects of exercise for treating and preventing recurrence of low back pain (LBP). The New York Times (NYT) picked up on this message in its Well blog article, "To Prevent Back Pain, Orthotics Are Out, Exercise Is In."

    NYT columnist Gretchen Reynolds writes about the systematic review published in JAMA Internal Medicine (abstract only available for free) that analyzed effectiveness of interventions for preventing recurrence of low back pain. For those who experience LBP (described in the NYT article as "80% of those … in the Western world'), exercise is the key to preventing its return—not patient education, not back belts, not insoles.

    The article quotes APTA member Chris Maher, PT, PhD, FCAP, one of the authors of the review, as saying "of all the options currently available to prevent back pain, exercise is really the only one with any evidence that it works."

    Maher is a professor at The University of Sydney and research fellow at The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia, as well as an Editorial Board member of Physical Therapy, APTA's research journal.

    Some exercise programs examined in the review were standalone, and others combined exercise with education. Reynolds explains that, regardless of the type of exercise program, the participants were less likely to have experienced a subsequent episode of LBP after participating in the programs. The only caveat is that the effect tapers off after 1 year, according to existing high-quality research.

    Maher told NYT that the jury is still out on whether continuing exercise has the same effect in the long term, or which types of exercise program may be more beneficial than others.

    The results echo those of the recent Cochrane systematic review on knee osteoarthritis (OA) covered by PT in Motion News on January 14. Like the LBP review, OA reviewers also found that exercise relieved pain up to 2 months after completing an exercise program, after which point the effects were minimal.

    APTA offers a wealth of resources on low back pain. Offerings range from consumer-focused information including a PT's guide to low back pain, a podcast, and a video. The PTNow evidence-based practice resource includes a variety of guidelines on low back pain, including one published by the APTA Orthopaedic Section.

    Comments

    • Exercise works if you do it. ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

      Posted by Monty on 1/30/2016 7:33 PM

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