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Back Pain & Osteoporosis

From the Current Issue

New Research:
Graded-Activity Rehabilitation Speeds Return to Work

Employees who miss work because of low back pain and undergo a type of rehabilitation called graded activity return to their jobs sooner than employees who receive traditional rehabilitation, according to the findings of a new study.

During the study, researchers identified 134 airline employees who had missed a significant amount of work because of low back pain. Half were randomly assigned to undergo traditional rehabilitation and half participated in graded-activity rehabilitation. Graded activity included supervised exercise sessions twice a week, while traditional rehabilitation consisted of advising the person on how to prevent injury and developing a return-to-work schedule.

Over six months, people in the graded-activity group missed 58 days of work, while those in the traditional rehabilitation group missed 87 days. Severity of pain was the same in both groups. The researchers concluded that graded activity enables quicker return to work but more research is needed to determine its long-term role in rehabilitation.

The author of a related editorial stated that although the results are encouraging, longer follow-up is needed to find out how graded activity affects factors other than reduction in work days, such as job performance.


Annals of Internal Medicine
Volume 140, page 77
January 20, 2004

 

 


 


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2005
WHITE PAPERS
Back Pain & Osteoporosis

The Back Pain and Osteoporosis White Paper from The Johns Hopkins White Papers series is an annual, in-depth report written by Hopkins physicians.

 

 

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