Benjamin E. Smith
Should exercises be painful in the management of chronic musculoskeletal pain?: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Smith, Benjamin E.; Hendrick, Paul; Smith, Toby O.; Bateman, Marcus; Moffatt, Fiona; Rathleff, Michael Skovdal; Selfe, James; Logan, Pip
Paul Hendrick email@example.com
Toby O. Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Skovdal Rathleff
PIP LOGAN email@example.com
Professor of Rehabilitation Research
Background: Chronic musculoskeletal disorders are a prevalent and costly global health issue. A new form of exercise therapy focused on loading and resistance programmes that temporarily aggravates a patient’s pain has been proposed. The object of this review was to compare the effect of exercises where pain is allowed/encouraged, compared with non-painful exercises on pain, function or disability in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain within randomised controlled trials.
Methods: Two authors independently selected studies and appraised risk of bias. Methodological quality was evaluated using the Cochrane risk of bias tool and the GRADE system was used to evaluate the quality of evidence.
Results: The literature search identified 9,081 potentially eligible studies. Nine papers (from seven trials) with 385 participants met the inclusion criteria. There was short term significant difference in pain, with moderate quality evidence for a small effect size of -0.27 (-0.54 to -0.05) in favour of painful exercises. For pain at medium and long term; and function and disability at short, medium and long term there was no significant difference.
Conclusion: Protocols using painful exercises offer a small, but significant benefit over pain-free exercises at short term, with moderate quality of the evidence. At medium and long term there is no clear superiority of one treatment over another. Pain during therapeutic exercise for chronic musculoskeletal pain need not be a barrier to successful outcomes. Further research is warranted to fully evaluate the effectiveness of loading and resistance programmes into pain for chronic musculoskeletal disorders.
PROSPERO Registration: CRD42016038882
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Publication Date||Dec 1, 2017|
|Journal||British Journal of Sports Medicine|
|Publisher||BMJ Publishing Group|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|APA6 Citation||Smith, B. E., Hendrick, P., Smith, T. O., Bateman, M., Moffatt, F., Rathleff, M. S., …Logan, P. (2017). Should exercises be painful in the management of chronic musculoskeletal pain?: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51(23), https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2016-097383|
|Keywords||Systematic review, Meta-analysis, musculoskeletal pain, musculoskeletal disorder, treatment, exercise, effectiveness|
|Copyright Statement||Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0|
Should exercises be painful in the management of chronic musculoskeletal pain A systematic review and meta-analysis.pdf
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
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