Objective: The aim of this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was to gain insight into the effectiveness of walking intervention on pain, disability, and quality of life in patients with chronic low back pain (LBP) at post intervention and follow ups.
Method: Six electronic databases (PubMed, Science Direct, Web of Science, Scopus, PEDro and The Cochrane library) were searched from 1980 to October 2017. The following keywords were used: Walk* or Pedometer* or Accelerometer* or Treadmill* paired with "Back pain", "Low back pain", "Chronic low back pain", "LBP", or "Backache". Randomized controlled trials in patients with chronic LBP were included if they compared the effects of walking intervention to non-pharmacological interventions. Pain, disability, and quality of life were the primary health outcomes.
Results: Nine studies were suitable for meta-analysis. Data was analyzed according to the duration of follow-up (short-term, < 3 months; intermediate-term, between 3 and 12 months; long-term, > 12 months). Low- to moderate-quality evidence suggests that walking intervention in patients with chronic LBP was as effective as other non-pharmacological interventions on pain and disability reduction in both short- and intermediate-term follow ups.
Conclusions: Unless supplementary high-quality studies provide different evidence, walking, which is easy to perform and highly accessible, can be recommended in the management of chronic LBP to reduce pain and disability.
Keywords: Chronic low back pain; Disability; Meta-analysis; Walking.
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