European Spine Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 599–611 | Cite as

Long-term effects of supervised physical training in secondary prevention of low back pain

  • Irina Maul
  • Thomas Läubli
  • Michael Oliveri
  • Helmut Krueger
Original Article

Abstract

Background and objectives: In the last few years, several studies have focused on short-term treatment effects of exercise therapy. However, there is a lack of knowledge concerning the long-term treatment effects recorded after several years. Hence, this study was performed to investigate the short- and long-term effects of supervised physical training on functional ability, self-rated pain and disability in secondary prevention of low back pain. Methods: One hundred and eighty-three hospital employees with chronic low back pain were randomly assigned either to back school (comparison group), or three-months supervised physical training including a back school (exercise group). Various measurements of functional ability were performed and subjects completed questionnaires on self-rated pain, disability, and general well-being before treatment, immediately after intervention, and at six-months follow-up. At one-year and at ten-years follow-up participants evaluated treatment effectiveness. Results: Out of 183 employees, 148 completed the program. Participation at follow-ups ranged from 66 to 96%. Supervised physical training significantly improved muscular endurance and isokinetic strength during a six-months follow-up, and effectively decreased self-rated pain and disability during a one-year follow-up. At ten-years follow-up the subjects’ assessment of the effectiveness of treatment was significantly better in the exercise group. Conclusions: Supervised physical training effectively improved functional capacity and decreased LBP and disability up to one-year follow-up. The subjects’ positive evaluation of the treatment effect at ten-years follow-up suggests a long-term benefit of training.

Keywords

Randomized clinical trial Supervised physical training Back school Hospital employees Low back pain 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge that the first part of the study (six-months follow-up period) was mainly developed and guided by M. Oliveri, and has been documented in a comprehensive report for the Swiss National Science Foundation and in an article for Eular [35]. The study was approved by the local Ethics Committee.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irina Maul
    • 1
  • Thomas Läubli
    • 1
  • Michael Oliveri
    • 2
  • Helmut Krueger
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Hygiene and Applied PhysiologySwiss Federal Institute of TechnologyZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Physical and Rehabilitation MedicineRehabilitation ClinicBellikonSwitzerland

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