Statistics show that 80% of individuals will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.  It is second to colds/flu for missed work days and one of the biggest reasons for going on disability.  The fortunate thing about back pain is that there are many treatment options that are proven to be effective.  The question then becomes; “how do I know where to go and what treatment options are best for me?”

A recent study published in the European Spine Journal (2011) looked at physical and rehabilitation interventions and compared which interventions had the largest evidence to support the treatment of chronic low back pain.

The interventions looked at were;

  1. Exercise
  2. BackSchool
  3. TENS
  4. Low level Laser
  5. Massage
  6. Behavioral Treatment
  7. Patient Education
  8. Traction
  9. Multidisciplinary treatment

The review concluded that the physical and rehabilitation interventions with the most support for treating chronic low back patients are multidisciplinary treatment and behavioral treatment. Additionally, exercise therapy was found to reduce pain intensity and disability significantly better than usual care.

Take home message:

Chronic low back pain can be a difficult condition to treat and often times multifaceted.  Combining different treatment modalities is shown to be more effective then one single treatment alone.  In my opinion, it is the health care provider and patient’s responsibility to determine which treatment options are best for the patient.  A reasonable treatment plan consisting of frequency and duration needs to be outlined and followed in ordered to determine if the interventions are successful.

As an evidence based clinic, The Active Health Institute, continues to follow the evidence and recommendations made by research articles like this one above, in order to provide the best and most effective care possible to our patients.  We have had great success, integrating various treatment interventions, which include physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, naturopathy and personal training.