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Low Back Pain Study Findings

Low Back Pain Study Findings

Low Back Pain (LBP) is something almost all of us have experienced at some point in our lives.  Unfortunately, approximately 50% of low back pain also recurs within 1 year of the initial episode.  This 2016 study sought to look for the most effective prevention strategies for minimizing the risk of LBP recurrence.  The authors scoured 6133 potential studies from multiple databases, and extracted appropriate data including 30,850 unique study participants.

The Conclusions:

The evidence suggests that exercise alone or in combination with education is effective for preventing LBP.  On another note, interventions including education alone, back belts, and shoe insoles alone, do not appear to prevent recurrent LBP.

Clinical Commentary:

We must keep in mind that there is no consensus for exactly what type of exercise program to use, therefore, it is imperative to seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider who can take the time to assess your particular situation and determine the most appropriate form of treatment.  A “personalized” lower back exercise routine and preventative education seems to work best – this might include stretching, strengthening, cardio and range of motion exercises amongst other things.  There may be a role for complementary devices such as insoles or back supports but using these alone is not proven to be helpful.  Suffering through a bout of LBP is bad enough (and unfortunately there is no magic pill for preventing recurrences) but getting on an appropriate exercise program can at least reduce your chances of it happening again.

Reference:

Steffens D., Maher C.G., Pereira L.S., et al. Prevention of Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Feb 1;176(2):199-208.

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