Does a powerlifting inspired exercise programme better compliment pain education compared to bodyweight exercise for people with chronic low back pain? A multicentre, single-blind, randomised controlled trial

Mitchell T. Gibbs, Natalie M.V. Morrison, Sean Raftry, Matthew D. Jones, Paul W. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Contemporary management of chronic low back pain involves combined exercise and pain education. Currently, there is a gap in the literature for whether any exercise mode better pairs with pain education. The purpose of this study was to compare general callisthenic exercise with a powerlifting style programme, both paired with consistent pain education, for chronic low back pain. We hypothesised powerlifting style training may better compliment the messages of pain education. Methods: An 8-week single-blind randomised controlled trial was conducted comparing bodyweight exercise (n = 32) with powerlifting (n = 32) paired with the same education, for people with chronic low back pain. Exercise sessions were one-on-one and lasted 60-min, with the last 5–15 min comprising pain education. Pain, disability, fear, catastrophizing, self-efficacy, anxiety, and depression were measured at baseline, 8-weeks, 3-months, and 6-months. Results: No significant between-group differences were observed for pain (p≥0.40), or disability (p≥0.45) at any time-point. Within-group differences were significantly improved for pain (p ≤ 0.04) and disability (p ≤ 0.04) at all time-points for both groups, except 6-month disability in the bodyweight group (p = 0.1). Behavioural measures explained 39–60% of the variance in changes in pain and disability at each time-point, with fear and self-efficacy emerging as significant in these models (p ≤ 0.001) Conclusions: Both powerlifting and bodyweight exercise were safe and beneficial when paired with pain education for chronic low back pain, with reductions in pain and disability associated with improved fear and self-efficacy. This study provides opportunity for practitioners to no longer be constrained by systematic approaches to chronic low back pain.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • biopsychosocial model
  • Chronic low back pain
  • education
  • exercise

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