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Physiotherapists' use of advice and exercise for the management of chronic low back pain: a national survey

updated

Tags: back pain, physical therapy, exercise, pain problems, spine, manual therapy, treatment, self-treatment

Two articles on PainSci cite Liddle 2009: (1) Complete Guide to Low Back Pain(2) Your Back Is Not Out of Alignment

PainSci notes on Liddle 2009:

This survey of 600 Irish physiotherapists showed that advice and exercise were the treatments most frequently used for chronic low back pain. Advice was most commonly delivered as part of an exercise programme, and strengthening (including core stability) was the most frequently prescribed exercise type.

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

The objective of the study was to establish the specific use of advice and exercise by physiotherapists, for the management of chronic low back pain (LBP). A questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 600 members of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. Open and closed questions were used to obtain information on treatments provided to chronic LBP patients. Respondents' treatment goals were also investigated, along with the typical methods used to assess treatment outcome. Four hundred and nineteen of the sample returned the questionnaire; 280/419 (67%) indicated that they currently treated LBP of which 76% (n=214) were senior grade therapists. Advice and exercise, respectively, were the treatments most frequently used for chronic LBP: advice was most commonly delivered as part of an exercise programme, with strengthening (including core stability) the most frequently used exercise type. Supervision of exercise and follow-up advice were underutilised with respect to the recommendations of relevant clinical guidelines. Pain relief was an important treatment goal. Emphasis on exercise programme supervision, incorporating reassurance that its safe to stay active and 'hurt does not mean harm', must be more effectively disseminated and promoted in practice. The influence of follow-up advice on exercise adherence warrants further investigation.

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