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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2012 September;48(3):361-70

Copyright © 2012 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

A systematic review on the effectiveness of medical training therapy for subacute and chronic low back pain

Scharrer M. 1, Ebenbichler G. 2, Pieber K. 2, Crevenna R. 2, Gruther W. 2, Zorn C. 2, Grimm-Stieger M. 3, Herceg M. 2, Keilani M. 2, Ammer K. 4

1 St Anna`s Children Hospital, Vienna, Austria; 2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vienna Medical University, Vienna, Austria; 3 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wilhelminenspital, Vienna, Austria; 4 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hanusch Krankenhaus, Vienna, Austria


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Medical training therapy (MTT) to improve muscular strength and endurance follows evidence based guidelines and is increasingly recommended to patients suffering from subacute and chronic back pain (LBP). This study investigated whether MTT was effective in reducing pain and improving function in patients with subacute or chronic LBP. Data sources were MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Pedro, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. We included RCTs that examined exercise or MTT in adult patients with LBP compared to placebo, no intervention or other interventions. Study outcomes had to include at least one of the following: pain intensity; functional status, absenteeism. Two independent reviewers performed quality assessment. Visual analogue scale ratings ranging from 0-10 MTT quantified the MTT aspects of the intervention. Studies with rating scores >7.5 were included. We identified only 2 studies that examined the effectiveness of MTT. Both trials, one was of high quality, found MTT to decrease pain and improve function significantly better than therapy of uncertain effectiveness. There is moderate evidence that would support the effectiveness of MTT in the treatment chronic LBP. Future high quality RCT will have to clarify whether MTT is effective and would be superior to other forms of therapeutic exercise.

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