Well-described exercises for chronic low back pain in Life Science Literature: A systematic review

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2022;35(4):729-742. doi: 10.3233/BMR-210179.


Background: Therapeutic exercise (TE) is recommended in multimodal treatment for patients with non-specific chronic back pain (cLBP).

Objective: The aim of this study is to identify an exercise or a spectrum of exercises, well described and reproducible by the clinician, for cLBP patients.

Methods: Systematic review by researching in the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, PEDro, CINAHL, and Scopus. Evidence from Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) supported the TE in patients with non-specific cLBP, provided that it was well described and could be repeated by another therapist. Methodological evaluation was performed using the PEDro scale and only studies with a score of ⩾ 6 were included. The assessment of the intervention description was carried out with the TIDieR checklist. The risk of bias was examined.

Results: Twenty-one articles were included in this systematic review. The defective description and the poorly reporting of the intervention makes it more difficult for the clinician to include the TE into clinical practice.

Conclusions: The findings of this study showed that the reporting of the intervention in high quality RCT on chronic low back pain is low, threatening the external validity of the results.

Keywords: Randomized controlled trial; exercise therapy; low back pain; physical therapy modalities; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Science Disciplines*
  • Chronic Pain* / therapy
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain* / therapy