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Infographic. What kinds of exercise are best for chronic low back pain?
  1. Patrick J Owen1,
  2. Clint T Miller2,
  3. Niamh L Mundell2,
  4. Simone J J M Verswijveren1,
  5. Scott D Tagliaferri2,
  6. Helena Brisby3,
  7. Steven J Bowe4,
  8. Daniel L Belavy1
  1. 1 Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3 Department of Orthopaedics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  4. 4 Faculty of Health, Biostatistics Unit, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Daniel L Belavy, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3217, Australia; belavy{at}

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Back pain is the greatest cause of disability and lost productivity worldwide.1 Back pain generates significant financial costs for society in developed countries, such as the USA, Japan, Europe and Australia (eg, US$80 billion per year in direct and indirect costs in the USA).2 Chronic low back pain (ie, ≥12 weeks’ duration) presents the greatest challenge: it generates the greatest proportion of economic burden due to back pain3 and affects 20% of the global population.4 Of these, approximately 90% of cases of chronic low back pain are non-specific (NSCLBP), meaning that a definitive diagnosis that is agreed on between clinicians cannot be made.5 Current treatment recommendations for NSCLBP include exercise (high-quality evidence), manual therapy (low-quality evidence) and psychological therapies (moderate-quality evidence).5 6 There are a …

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  • Twitter @S1_Verswijveren, @BelavySpine

  • Contributors PJO and DLB drafted the infographic and the associated text. All other authors provided critical input into the infographic, the associated text and were contributing authors to the network meta-analysis which forms the basis of this infographic.

  • Funding The network meta-analysis was funded by Musculoskeletal Australia (formerly MOVE muscle, bone and joint health; CONTR2017/00399; not-for-profit sector).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.