Wednesday, January 28, 2004

For Low Back Pain, Exercise, don't go for Prolotherapy

In one recent study at VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands, a graded activity program, meaning a progressive exercise regimen without reference to subjective complaints, returned employees to work faster. After the participants were evaluated for any pathology for which activity would be contraindicated, they were put through a physical therapy regimen that emphasized function and de-emphasized pain. The participants apparently accepted the "hurt doesn't mean harm" mantra.

Harold Prather, D.O., Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Washington University School of Medicine commented: "Athletes and other professionals are highly motivated, have high self-esteem, are not depressed, and have a strong motivation to keep doing what they always do." He suggested that the graded activity program imbues the injured worker with some of the ideals and motivation of the injured athlete.

Prolotherapy is not the way to go according to a study at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. In the study, neither prolotherapy nor flexion-extension exercise improved pain or disability associated with chronic nonspecific low back pain beyond that observed with saline injections or normal activity.

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