Acute Low Back Pain?Bed Rest, Exercise or Ordinary Activity?
A randomized controlled trial study assigned 186 patients with acute (<3weeks) low back pain to one of the three treatment groups:
i) Complete bed rest for two days with only essential walking allowed.
ii) Exercises as prescribed by a Physiotherapist in ONE SESSION including extension and lateral movements to be performed hourly and 10 times in each direction.
iii) The control group who were told to avoid bed rest and advised to continue their routines as actively as possible within the limits permitted by their back pain.
Result:Results at the 3-week and 12-week follow-up sessions:
1) The patients in the CONTROL group had better recovery than those prescribed bed rest or exercises.
2) The patients in the CONTROL group were significantly better with respect to the duration of pain, pain intensity, lumbar flexion, ability to work as measured subjectively, Oswestry back-disability index, and number of days absent from work.
3) Recovery was slowest among the patients assigned to bed rest.
Study Conclusion: Among patients with acute low back pain, continuing normal activities within the limits permitted by pain leads to more rapid recovery than either bed rest or back mobilizing exercises.
Study Conclusion #2: Patients who received ?Physical Therapy exercises? were worse off in every way when compared to the ones who were simply left alone!
Posted on: February 18, 2002