Back School for Low Back Pain

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Back School for Low Back Pain

Topic Overview

A back school is an educational program that teaches you practical information about back care, posture, body mechanics, back exercises, and how to prevent long-term back problems. Going to a back school gives you the tools for self-care, which may improve how well you manage low back pain.

Back school is only as effective as you make it by applying your back-care knowledge on a regular basis. Back school research has produced mixed results.

  • Some studies have shown that back school can improve acute low back pain and speed recovery. Other studies have shown no benefit or mixed results.1 For chronic pain, back school is likely to help reduce pain and increase your ability to be active.2
  • One study suggests that back school is as effective as manual treatments for relieving some low back pain.3

Ask your health professional for the name of a local back school. You may find a back school program in your nearest rehabilitation hospital or outpatient program. Or you may find a back school that is an independent clinic.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. McIntosh G, Hall H (2008). Low back pain (acute), search date May 2007. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
  2. McIntosh G, Hall H (2008). Low back pain (chronic), search date May 2007. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
  3. Hseih C, et al. (2002). Effectiveness of four conservative treatments for subacute low back pain. Spine, 27(11): 1142–1148.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
Last Revised June 8, 2010

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