Group rehabilitation for chronic back pain: A pilot study

Rachel Davey, Hugh Broadbent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Twelve subjects recruited by an advertisement in the Sheffield University newsletter and from referral from the pain clinic at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, began a 12-week group exercise. Emphasis was placed on identifying specific impairments in back function and focusing on the functional restoration of these deficits using mobility, progressive strengthening and stretching exercises for the trunk, pelvis and hips. Physical function was assessed by measuring total lumbosacral flexion and extension, straight leg raising, hip extension, trunk curl and lifting capacity. Disability and pain beliefs were measured using the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability questionnaire and Survey of Pain Attitudes questionnaire respectively. Ten subjects completed the exercise programme (mean attendance of 16 sessions). Patients showed statistically significant (P<0.05) improvements in total lumbosacral extension, trunk curl and lifting capacity and perceived disability was reduced from a classification of ‘moderate’ to ‘minimal’ (Oswestry). There were also significant favourable changes in the pain beliefs about control and disability. The results demonstrated that moderately disabled subjects with chronic low back pain can benefit from a structured group exercise programme. This type of programme may be suitable for small groups of 10–12 patients, requires simple equipment and a modest amount of space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-642
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


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