Preventing Back Pain: the latests and greatest evidence

By Julia Biedermann BSc MPT and Bradley Jawl DPT

Low Back Pain can be a pain in the butt. Especially when it keeps coming back.

This blog briefly summarizes an excellent article that was just published. It’s a powerful article that collates all the quality evidence ever published on the topic of how to prevent recurrent low back pain.

A 2016 systematic review (that’s the highest level of evidence) on the prevention of low back pain found some interesting results. The paper examined the recurrence of low back pain and compared strategies for reducing the risk of having another episode.  

Low back pain (LBP) is known to have a very high recurrence rate, with one-half of patients having a recurrence within 1 year.

So what is the best strategy for reducing the risk of recurrence? According to the research, back belts, shoe insoles and ergonomic adjustments likely do not prevent a future episode of low back pain.

The not-so-secret trick turns out to be EXERCISE! Ideally combined with EDUCATION about the do's and don’ts of back health. This magic combination of exercise and education has definitively been found to reduce the risk of having another low back pain (LBP) episode. Especially in the short term (less than one year).

For exercise to remain protective against future bouts of LBP, long-term changes to physical activity levels are required. Changing exercise habits and engaging in a focused exercise program (like Tall Tree’s Back Fitness class) is one key to keeping that back pain away, once and for all. 

We encourage you to use this article's conclusions if you have a ‘bad back’. Go for more walks, learn some effective back exercises, and educate yourself on the dos and don’ts with The Back Book (one of the many resources on the Tall Tree website under resources>information).