The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of high-intensity aerobic exercise on pain, disability, psychological strain, and serum cortisol concentrations in people with chronic low back pain. Twenty subjects receiving primary health care were randomly allocated into exercise and control groups. Subjects in the exercise group received a 12-week, high-intensity aerobic exercise program. Subjects in the control group received 12 weeks of passive modalities without any form of physical activity. The results showed that regular high-intensity aerobic exercise alleviated pain, disability, and psychological strain in subjects with chronic low back pain but did not improve serum cortisol concentrations.
Physical Therapy, Vol. 87, No. 3, March 2007, pp. 304-312