What is the efficacy of directional preference (DP) exercises for the treatment of mechanical low back pain?

Updated: Mar 06, 2018
  • Author: Everett C Hills, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Answer

In a 2004 multicenter randomized trial, patients who were trained in exercises that matched their directional preference (DP) were more likely to achieve immediate, lasting improvement in pain compared with patients who received nondirectional treatment or opposite directional treatment. [24] Patients using DP exercises were found to have a 3-fold decrease in medication usage. The idea of patient-specific exercises in managing LBP is recognized as controversial by the authors. Using DP to guide patients may improve outcomes in pain, function, and treatment satisfaction.


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