Low back pain can prove difficult to treat and providing evidence for one type of treatment being superior to another is difficult. Typically, treatment effect sizes from clinical trials using conservative (non-surgical) care for mechanical lower back pain are small. Recently a randomised controlled trial using Cognitive Functional Therapy (CFT) (an approach we have been using at Bend + Mend for a long time) was compared with traditional manual therapy and exercise (Fersum, European J of Pain 2013).
CFT provides a targeted approach to management of back pain based on a thorough examination. It considers movement and postural behaviours, psychological factors, neurophysiological factors and lifestyle factors (sedentary vs. excessive activity). The CFT approach showed a clinically and statistically significant large effect on reducing disability and pain in people with low back pain.
Recently the CFT approach was discussed by Peter O’Sullivan on the ABC health report. This should be compulsory listening to anyone with back pain or managing back pain. To listen click here.