Is exercise therapy effective treatment for low back pain?


Advocate Illinois Masonic Family Medicine Residency


Yes, it is somewhat effective. Exercise therapy-including general exercise, yoga, Pilates, and motor control exercise-has been shown to modestly decrease pain in chronic low back pain (LBP); levels of benefit in short- (≤ 3 months) and long- (≥ 1 year) term follow-up range from 4% to 15% improvement (strength of recommendation [SOR] A, based on a systematic review of randomized controlled trials [RCTs]).Exercise therapy may improve function and decrease work disability in subacute and chronic LBP, respectively (SOR A, based on a meta-analysis of RCTs). Exercise therapy has not been associated with improvement in acute LBP (SOR A, based on a meta-analysis of RCTs).

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