News & Perspectives

Exercise Classes Ease Low Back Pain

What the Study Showed
In a recent UK study reported in the British Medical Journal, a few weeks of supervised exercise classes provided long-term pain relief and a more permanent resumption of normal activities for low back pain sufferers.

How It Was Done
In a randomized trial involving 187 people, ages 8 to 60, healthy participants—-with low back pain for one to six months—-took four weeks of exercise classes lead by a physiotherapist. The program incorporated stretching, strengthening, and low impact and aerobic exercises; and it targeted the main muscle groups. British researchers measured pain relief with Roland disability questionnaires, Aberdeen back pain scales, and patient pain diaries.

Why It's Important
Six weeks, six months, and a year after the trial, the exercising participants reported a better ability to cope with their back pain. They used fewer healthcare resources and then lost 62% fewer work days than those who did not attend the exercise classes.

Date Published: 02/14/2000
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