Patient-Tailored Exercise Not Linked with Improved Back Pain Outcomes

HealthDay News — Patient-matched treatment does not improve outcomes for individuals with chronic, recurrent low back pain (LBP), according to a study published in the December 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

Sharon M. Henry, PT, PhD, from the University of Vermont in Burlington, and colleagues conducted a standardized clinical examination on 124 patients with LBP (≥12 months) in order to group them as ineligible or eligible for stabilization exercises based on the Treatment-Based Classification and Movement System Impairment schemas. One hundred one patients were then randomized for matched (Movement System Impairment-directed exercises; 76 patients) or unmatched (trunk stabilization exercises; 25 patients) treatments.

The researchers found that after treatment, both groups showed a statistically significant improvement in the primary outcome measures (Oswestry disability index and the Numeric Pain Rating Scale) and almost all the secondary measures. The matched-treatment group did not demonstrate superior outcomes at seven weeks or 12 months except on one secondary measure – the Graded Chronic Pain Scale (Disability Scale).

“Providing a matched treatment based on either the Treatment-Based Classification or the Movement System Impairment classification schema did not improve treatment outcomes compared with an unmatched treatment for patients with chronic LBP, except on one secondary disability measure,” the authors write.


1. Henry SM. Spine J. 2014;  14(12):2799-2810.

This article originally appeared on MPR