Self-report measures best explain changes in disability compared with physical measures after exercise rehabilitation for chronic low back pain.

Marshall P, Murphy B

The objective of this study was to evaluate changes in disability and pain in individuals with chronic LBP after combined treatment and exercise interventions, and to evaluate whether changes in self-report or physical measures would best explain improvements in disability. Sixty individuals with chronic nonspecific LBP were randomly assigned to either a supervised Swiss ball exercise group, or an advice group. The exercise intervention was for 12 weeks with a long-term follow-up of 9 months. Self-report measures and physical measures were collected throughout the study. The results showed that self-rated disability improved more after the treatment period for individuals who received supervised exercise compared with advice alone. There was no difference found between individuals who received manipulative or nonmanipulative treatment.

Supervised exercise is a more successful subsequent to manual treatment compared with exercise advice. Improvements associated with this type of program are primarily manifested in psychologic self-report measures rather than physical measurements.

Spine, 2008, 33(3), 326-38

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