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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2006 Jul;85(7):607-13.

Aerobic fitness in women with chronic discogenic nonradicular low back pain.

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  • 1Women's Sports Medicine Program/Sports Medicine Center, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine if aerobic fitness varies between women with and without chronic discogenic non-radicular low back pain.


Prospective cross-sectional descriptive study.


: Analysis of variance revealed that maximal oxygen consumption was lower (P = 0.05) in women with low back pain compared with the control group. In addition, there was a significant reduction (P = 0.05) in reported exercise training duration and frequency but no change in exercise intensity (P = 0.1) in the study group after the onset of low back pain. The low back pain group had minimal disability (19%) based on the Oswestry Disability Questionnaire.


Women with chronic discogenic non-radicular low back pain have lower maximal oxygen consumption than age-matched controls. However, this study group continued to exercise safely at the same exercise training intensity as before their low back pain and had minimal disability and above-average aerobic fitness.

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