This review article studied 40 separate studies, hoping to establish guidelines for occupational health physicians encountering low back pain. The researchers attempted to test the efficacy of different intervention treatments in terms of absence rates and duration of sick leave. Their findings:

  • “Bed rest should be limited or even avoided; normal activity should be continued as much as possible.”
  • “If any conservative treatment for patients with acute low back pain is considered, spinal manipulation is the best option.”
  • “Furthermore, there are promising results for exercise and education programs, especially for intensive programs in an occupational setting.”

van der Weide WE, Verbeek JHAM, van Tulder MW. Vocational outcome of intervention for low back pain. Scandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health 1997;23(3):165-78.