BACKGROUND: Current evidence supports the use of exercise-based treatment for chronic low back pain that encourages the patient to assume an active role in their recovery. Walking has been shown it to be an acceptable type of exercise with a low risk of injury. However, it is not known whether structured physical activity programmes are any more effective than giving advice to remain active.METHODS/DESIGN: The proposed study will test the feasibility of using a pedometer-driven walking programme, as an adjunct to a standard education and advice session in participants with chronic low back pain. Fifty adult participants will be recruited via a number of different sources. Baseline outcome measures including self reported function; objective physical activity levels; fear-avoidance beliefs and health-related quality of life will be recorded. Eligible participants will be randomly allocated under strict, double blind conditions to one of two treatments groups. Participants in group A will receive a single education and advice session with a physiotherapist based on the content of the 'Back Book'. Participants in group B will receive the same education and advice session. In addition, they will also receive a graded pedometer-driven walking programme prescribed by the physiotherapist. Follow up outcomes will be recorded by the same researcher, who will remain blinded to group allocation, at eight weeks and six months post randomisation. A qualitative exploration of participants' perception of walking will also be examined by use of focus groups at the end of the intervention. As a feasibility study, treatment effects will be represented by point estimates and confidence intervals. The assessment of participant satisfaction will be tabulated, as will adherence levels and any recorded difficulties or adverse events experienced by the participants or therapists. This information will be used to modify the planned interventions to be used in a larger randomised controlled trial.DISCUSSION: This paper describes the rationale and design of a study which will test the feasibility of using a structured, pedometer-driven walking programme in participants with chronic low back pain.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|