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Physiotherapy, aerobics, and training devices reduced pain intensity and frequency in chronic low back pain

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 QUESTION: In patients with chronic low back pain (LBP), are physiotherapy, specific conditioning with training devices, and aerobics equally effective for reducing pain and disability?


Randomised {allocation concealed*}, {unblinded},*controlled trial with 12 months of follow up.


A hospital in Switzerland.


148 patients (mean age 45 y, 57% women, mean LBP duration 11 y) who were < 65 years of age and had > 3 months of LBP with or without referred pain serious enough to require medical attention or absence from work. Exclusion criteria included constant or persistent severe pain, pregnancy, previous spinal surgery, and current nerve-root entrapment accompanied by neurological deficit. 86% of patients completed follow up.


Patients were allocated to 1 of 3 groups: physiotherapy (n=49) in 30 minute individual …

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  • * See glossary.

  • Information provided by author.;Roland M, Morris R. Spine 1983;8:141–4.

  • Sources of funding: Swiss National Science Foundation and Schulthess Klinik Research Fund.

  • For correspondence: Dr A F Mannion, Schulthess Klinik, Zurich, Switzerland. afm{at}