Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common and costly conditions in industrialized countries. Exercise therapy has been used to treat LBP, although typically using only one mode of exercise. This paper describes the method and initial findings of a person-centered, group physical activity programme which featured as part of a multidisciplinary approach to treating LBP. Six participants (aged 50.7 ± 17 years) completed a six-week physical activity programme lasting two hours per week. A multicomponent approach to physical activity was adopted which included aerobic fitness, core activation, muscular strength and endurance, Nordic Walking, flexibility and exercise gaming. In addition, participants were required to use diary sheets to record physical activity completed at home. Results revealed significant (p < 0.05) improvements in back strength (23%), aerobic fitness (23%), negative wellbeing (32%) and disability (16%). Person's Correlation Coefficient analysis revealed significant (p < 0.05) relationships between improvement in perceived pain and aerobic fitness (r = 0.93). It was concluded that a person-centered, multicomponent approach to physical activity may be optimal for supporting patients who self-manage LBP.
Keywords: disability; low back pain; physical activity; physical fitness; self-management; well-being.