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Will Exercise Help Your Persisting Low Back Pain? A Study Assessing Modifying Factors

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

A new review by Hayden et al (2020) looked at factors that could influence response to exercise treatment for low back pain. These papers are great tools for clinicians because it helps us understand what the patient may benefit from most - and ultimately helps guide the creation of a customized treatment program for the individual.

Let's look at what they found.

Our physio providing education

In their paper they identified factors that predicted a GOOD response to exercise treatment. Here are the patient traits that seemed to be associated with better effects from an exercise-based approach:

1) Not having heavy physical demands at work

2) Not using medication for pain management

3) Lower Body-Mass-Index (BMI)

There are a multitude of factors influencing someone's response to treatment, and in these large reviews it is difficult to distinguish exactly what the treatment consisted of. Don't think that just because you don't fall into these categories that exercise isn't right for you.

We found in the literature and our personal experience that thorough education provided at the beginning of the treatment program can go a long way. From there we determine to what extent will we use exercise-based approaches in your treatment. Some important ground to cover before we start would be:

1) What pre-conceived perceptions do you have about your back pain?

2) Do you believe that exercise will make you better or worse?

3) Where do you think your pain is coming from?

4) Are you afraid of moving?

5) What do you believe will help you?

Once some of these examples are established, it provides important information for our physiotherapists to then move forward with your treatment plan.

Let us know if you want to learn more about any particular point discussed in this article or low back pain in general. Leave us a comment or share this article to spread the #knowledge

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