Aerobic exercise training in addition to conventional physiotherapy for chronic low back pain: A randomized controlled trial

Carol W. Chan, Nicola W. Mok, Wai Ella Yeung

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Chan CW, Mok NW, Yeung EW. Aerobic exercise training in addition to conventional physiotherapy for chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Objective: To examine the effect of adding aerobic exercise to conventional physiotherapy treatment for patients with chronic low back pain (LBP) in reducing pain and disability. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: A physiotherapy outpatient setting in Hong Kong. Participants: Patients with chronic LBP (N=46) were recruited and randomly assigned to either a control (n=22) or an intervention (n=24) group. Interventions: An 8-week intervention; both groups received conventional physiotherapy with additional individually tailored aerobic exercise prescribed only to the intervention group. Main Outcome Measures: Visual analog pain scale, Aberdeen Low Back Pain Disability Scale, and physical fitness measurements were taken at baseline, 8 weeks, and 12 months from the commencement of the intervention. Multivariate analysis of variance was performed to examine between-group differences. Results: Both groups demonstrated a significant reduction in pain (P<.001) and an improvement in disability (P<.001) at 8 weeks and 12 months; however, no differences were observed between groups. There was no significant difference in LBP relapse at 12 months between the 2 groups (χ2=2.30, P=.13). Conclusions: The addition of aerobic training to conventional physiotherapy treatment did not enhance either short- or long-term improvement of pain and disability in patients with chronic LBP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1681-1685
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011


  • Exercise
  • Low back pain
  • Physical therapy modalities
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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