Are physiotherapy exercises effective in reducing chronic low back pain?

Lewis, Anna; Morris, Meg E.; Walsh, Clare

The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the literature on the effectiveness of physiotherapy exercises in reducing chronic low back pain (CLBP). 15 randomised controlled trials evaluating physiotherapy delivered exercise programmes to patients with CLBP remained. A methodological quality assessment was performed, showing the included studies to have medium to high quality.were included. Prescribed physiotherapy exercises included general fitness and aerobic exercises, flexibility regimes, stretches, muscle strengthening and spinal stabilising exercises. These interventions were compared with each other as well as surgical stabilisation, yoga, hydrotherapy, back care education booklets and placebo groups.

Overall, physiotherapy prescribed exercise programmes were found to be effective in reducing pain in patients with CLBP. However, there was no consensus on a specific technique or exercise format being consistently superior to other interventions.

Physical Therapy Reviews, 2008, 13(1), 37-44

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