Effect of Stay Active Advice on Pain and Disability in Patients with Low Back Pain: a randomized controlled trial

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Noha Khaled Shoukry
Salam Mohamed Elhafez
Raymond Lee
Abeer Farag Hanafy


Back pain, Advice of Staying Active, Pain, Disability


Background: Stay active advice is considered the ‘first line’ for treating patients with low back pain (LBP) and is recommended in all international guidelines. However, the current evidence in favor of the advice of staying active for patients with LBP is limited. Purpose: The purpose of the study was to study the effect of the advice of staying active on the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) pain score and Oswestry disability index (ODI) in patients with low-risk non-specific low back pain (NSLBP).
Methods: Thirty-five patients with low-risk NSLBP for less than three months participated in this study. They were randomly assigned into two groups; Group 1: Stay active advice and Group 2: the control group; patients in this group were not given any advice at all and were asked to come after six weeks for re-assessment as the advice group. Data were collected using VAS and ODI at the baseline and after six weeks.
Results: Mixed design MANOVA revealed that the VAS pain score was significantly decreased at the six-week assessment compared to the baseline measurements in both groups (p<0.05) and was significantly lower in the Stay active group at the 6-week assessment compared to the Control group (p =0.001). Also, the ODI decreased significantly at the six-week assessment compared to the baseline measurements in both groups (p<0.05) but with no significant difference between the two groups for the VAS and ODI scores at the six-week assessment (P>0.05).
Conclusion: The advice of staying active is beneficial in reducing perceived pain intensity without deleterious effects on disability in patients with low-risk NSLBP.

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