Exercise and nonspecific low back pain: a literature review.

Henchoz Y, Kai-Lik So A

This study reviewed the literature to clarify the effects of exercise in preventing and treating nonspecific low back pain. Several characteristics of exercise programs were evaluated including specificity, individual tailoring, supervision, motivation enhancement, volume, and intensity. The results show that exercise is effective in the primary and secondary prevention of low back pain. When used for curative treatment, exercise diminishes disability and pain severity while improving fitness and occupational status in patients who have subacute, recurrent, or chronic low back pain. Patients with acute low back pain are usually advised to continue their everyday activities to the greatest extent possible rather than to start an exercise program. Supervision is crucial to the efficacy of exercise programs. Whether general or specific exercises are preferable is unclear, and neither is there clear evidence that one-on-one sessions are superior to group sessions.

Joint Bone Spine, 2008, 75(5), 533-9

Link to Abstract