This study compares efficacies of two active programs in the management of chronic low back pain (CLBP). A total of 100 patients were randomised to either 6-weeks of multidisciplinary rehabilitation (group A) or therapist-assisted exercise (group B). At baseline and 6 weeks, the visual analogue scale (VAS) pain score was estimated, as a primary outcome measure. McGill pain score, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), trunk forward flexion and extension, left and right lateral bending, were applied prior to and post treatment and were employed as secondary outcome measures. All outcome measures got substantially better in group A after treatment, compared with group B. The VAS, McGill, ODI scores, left and right lateral bending decreased significantly, whereas forward and backward bending increased. A significant number of patients went back to work in group A at the end of 6 weeks, compared with group B. These effects were sustained over 12 and 24 weeks of follow-up.
The study found that multidisciplinary rehabilitation improved functional indices and pain scale scores in the multidisciplinary rehabilitation group compared with the therapist-assisted exercise group and that it would be an effective strategy in CLBP management.