A controlled study on the outcome of inpatient and outpatient treatment of low back pain. Part IV. Long-term effects on physical measurements
Mellin G, Härkäpää K, Hurri H, Järvikoski A.
Rehabilitation Foundation, Helsinki, Finland
Effects of inpatient and outpatient treatment on physical measurements in chronic low back pain patients (n = 476) were analyzed at 1.5- and 2.5-year follow-ups as well as 3 months after a refresher programme which was carried out 1.5 years after the first treatment. Physical measurements consisted of hip and lumbar spinal mobility, and trunk muscle strength. At the 1.5-year follow-up the two treatment groups did not differ from the control group, but at the 2.5-year follow-up inpatients showed better improvements in physical functions from the pretreatment level. The refresher treatment was found to improve physical functions more effectively than the first treatment program, especially in the outpatients. Self-care with heavy exercising was related with the improvement of physical functions, but back exercises and light exercising were not. Statistically significant but modest correlations were found between improved physical functions and subjective progress during the long-term follow-ups
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