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Randomised controlled trial
Exercise may be beneficial for patients with chronic severe sciatica who would normally qualify for surgery
  1. Margareta C Nordin1,
  2. Federico Balagué2
  1. 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, New York University, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Rheumatology, Hospital Cantonal Fribourg and Geneva University, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Margareta C Nordin
    Department of Orthopedic Surgery, New York University, NYU/HJD/OIOC, 63 Downing Street, New York, NY 10014, USA; margareta.nordin{at}

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Commentary on: OpenUrlCrossRef


The role of conservative treatment and exercise still remain uncertain for severe sciatica.


This prospective single-blind, randomised, controlled trial compares two active exercise programmes for patients with severe sciatica. In the county of Funen, patients are referred by general practitioners, rheumatologists or chiropractors to a state funded regional facility ‘Back Center Funen’ for specialty care. The two treatment arms proposed are identical except for the exercise regimens; both groups received thorough information (anatomy of the spine, the pathogenesis of a herniated disc and the natural healing process); a special emphasis was made on the positive prognosis of sciatica. The exercise regimens differed; …

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  • Competing interests None.