Simple Approach to Simple Back Pain: Simply Exercise

If most people who have back pain get better without treatment, then why bother spending money on medical care or therapy? In this study, researchers discovered that patients in group therapy went back to work a full week sooner. The cost savings and financial benefit may be worth the cost of a "Back to Fitness" program.

Back to Fitness consisted of information, advice, and a simple back program with group exercise therapy. Results for patients in this group were compared to a group of patients who got a booklet on back care, one session of advice, and regular care by their doctor.

Patients in the group therapy exercised three times a week for an hour in a gym. Back and abdominal muscle exercises were done along with a set of spine stabilizing exercises. Everyone went for two weeks unless they went back to work first.

The goal of a Back to Fitness program is to help patients help themselves. The program is simple and easy to follow. Early pain relief allows patients to move on to a fitness program. This study showed such a program results in a speedier return to work.

Alison Wright, MCSP, et al. Individual Active Treatment Combined with Group Exercise for Acute and Subacute Low Back Pain. In Spine. June 1, 2005. Vol. 30. No. 11. Pp. 1235-1241.

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