Research - Outcome Studies 

The Efficacy of Active Rehabilitation in Chronic Low Back Pain. Effect on Pain Intensity, Self-Experienced Disability, and Lumbar Fatigability. 

Year: 1999  Country: Finland   Study Population: N=30/24 (active treatment/passive treatment)

Taimela S, Härkäpää K. Strength, Mobility, Their Changes, and Pain Reduction in Active Functional Restoration for Chronic Low Back Disorders. Journal of Spinal Disorders 1996;9(4):306-312.


To compare the results of active rehabilitation and passive control treatment in patients with chronic low back pain with follow-up at 6 and 12 months.


Random assignment to either 12 weeks’ active rehabilitation or to a passive control treatment (massage, thermal therapy).

Outcome measures: pain (VAS), self-experienced disability (PDI), lumbar fatigability (mean power frequency slope).


Pain and self-reported disability decreased and lumbar endurance increased significantly (<0.05) in the active group compared to the passive treatment group when measured at the 1 year follow-up. The group difference in VAS and PDI became even more significant at the end of 1 year, but the lumbar endurance was statistically significant only in the 6 month follow-up (not at 1 year) when comparing the two groups.