Back School for Low Back Pain

Topic Overview

A back school is an educational program that teaches you practical information about back care, posture, body mechanics, back exercises, and how to prevent long-term back problems. Going to a back school gives you the tools for self-care, which may improve how well you manage low back pain.

Back school works only as well as you make it work by applying your back-care knowledge on a regular basis. Back school research has produced mixed results.

  • Some studies have shown that back school can improve low back pain and speed recovery. Other studies have shown no benefit or mixed results.1, 2
  • One study suggests that back school is as effective as manual treatments for relieving some low back pain.3

Ask your health insurance provider or doctor for the name of a local back school. You may find a back school program in your nearest rehabilitation hospital or outpatient program. Or you may find a back school that is an independent clinic.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. McIntosh G, Hall H (2011). Low back pain (acute), search date December 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
  2. Chou R (2010). Low back pain (chronic), search date April 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
  3. Hseih C, et al. (2002). Effectiveness of four conservative treatments for subacute low back pain. Spine, 27(11): 1142–1148.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Joan Rigg, PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
Last Revised February 15, 2012

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