Results of a multicenter trial using an intensive active exercise program for the treatment of acute soft tissue and back injuries

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1990 Jun;15(6):514-21. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199006000-00016.


Dissatisfaction with current nonsurgical treatment of acute soft tissue and back injuries initiated a search for more effective treatment. A multicenter trial, involving 12 clinics, treated 1,072 patients. Treatment consisted of intensive, time-limited exercises emphasizing mobility, muscle strengthening, work conditioning, sequence training, and appropriate education sessions. Return to full-time work was proof that the patient had recovered fully. Time off work and compensation costs were parameters used to evaluate results. A detailed study of 703 patients treated at five clinics, operational for more than 12 months, showed superior results when compared with the comparison group of 2,172 matched control subjects. The treatment group returned to work earlier and realized substantial cost savings. This treatment program has proved to be superior to the miscellaneous variety of treatment modalities used for acute soft tissue and back injuries provided to the comparison group.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Back Injuries*
  • Back Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Connective Tissue / injuries*
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Occupational Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Ontario
  • Work Schedule Tolerance