Rehabilitation professionals treat individuals suifering from chronic low back pain (CLBP) using a variety of treatment approaches including manual therapy and the prescription of therapeutic exercises. The use of manual therapy, specifically joint mobilization of the lumbar spine, may significantly decrease a patient's pain and contribute to improvement in his or her functioning. Exercise may also improve pain and functioning, with some patients reporting gains up to 1 year after the last treatment session. Numerous investigations have assessed the potential benefits associated with either joint mobilization or therapeutic exercise for patients with acute or subacute low back pain or CLBP. Despite the literature to guide clinical decision making, clinicians often struggle to successfully or expeditiously treat patients with low back pain, A recent trend reported in the literature has been to use treatment-based classifications or clinical prediction rules. These reports provide evidence or clinical suggestions for treating patients with acute or subacute low back pain. To the best of our knowledge, there is a lack of these types of reports that address evaluation and treatment for patients with CLBP. When treating patients with CLBP it is not uncommon for some rehabilitation professionals to use 1 treatment approach primarily or exclusively. Using a treatment program supported by the research literature should generate the most effective outcomes for patients with CLBP,
Published in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 2011, 20(4): 494-504.