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Eliminating Low Back Pain: Just Another Walk in the Park

Low back pain (LBP) may be no picnic, but a new study suggests that something as simple as taking a walk in the park, or engaging in other common physical activities, can help LBP sufferers cope more effectively and reduce the amount of sick time needed to recover.

In a three-year observational study, 457 patients suffering from LBP and placed on sick leave from work were divided into an intervention and a control group. The intervention group received a clinical examination, doctor advice and information, and was encouraged to stay physically active, while the control group received an exam and other primary health care treatments.

At a six-month follow-up, patients from the intervention group were less likely to use bed rest, and more likely to stretch or walk to treat their LBP than the control group, and after 12 months, 68.4 percent of patients from the intervention group had returned to work, as opposed to 56.4 percent of patients from the control group. Researchers concluded that encouraging patients to resume physical activity soon after the onset of LBP, as well as offering further guidance and support during the examination process, reduces the number of sick days taken in association with the pain.

If you suffer from back pain, talk to a doctor of chiropractic about a treatment plan.


Hagen EM, Grasdal A, Eriksen HR. Does early intervention with a light mobilization program reduce long-term sick leave for low back pain: a 3-year follow-up study. Spine, Oct. 15, 2003;28(20), pp2309-2316.

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