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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1997 Apr;78(4):414-23.

Randomized controlled trials in industrial low back pain. Part 3. Subacute/chronic pain interventions.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, OH 45267-0530, USA.


The most significant costs attributed to settlement of workplace back injury claims are related to chronic low back pain (LBP). Unfortunately, our knowledge of this fact has not led to a reduction of the considerable costs paid out annually by employers and insurers to deal with the chronic pain syndrome. This article is the third in a series of reviews on randomized controlled trials found in the English language medical literature between 1975 and 1993. Of more than 4,000 LBP citations, 35 studies met-the selection criteria of randomization, reasonable concurrent controls and work return comparisons. This review focuses on the 12 studies utilizing nonsurgical interventions for subacute and chronic LBP, including multidisciplinary pain clinics, exercise, cognitive-behavioral strategies, and others. A 26-point quality system was again used to compare the methodologic rigor of each study. The majority of prospective studies investigating return to work after chronic LBP have methodological limitations; additional research is clearly needed to more confidently answer the question of what interventions improve work capacity in patients with chronic LBP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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