Background: Exercise therapy is recommended to treat non-specific low back pain (LBP). Home-based exercises are promising way to mitigate the lack of availability of exercise centers. In this paper, we conducted a systemic review and meta-analysis on the effects of home-based exercise on pain and functional limitation in LBP.
Method: PubMed, Cochrane, Embase and ScienceDirect were searched until April 20th, 2021. In order to be selected, studies needed to report the pain and functional limitation of patients before and after home-based exercise or after exercise both in a center and at-home. Random-effect meta-analyses and meta-regressions were conducted.
Results: We included 33 studies and 9588 patients. We found that pain intensity decreased in the exclusive home exercise group (Effect size = −0.89. 95% CI −0.99 to −0.80) and in the group which conducted exercise both at-home and at another setting (−0.73. −0.86 to −0.59). Similarly, functional limitation also decreased in both groups (−0.75. −0.91 to −0.60, and −0.70, −0.92 to −0.48, respectively). Relaxation and postural exercise seemed to be ineffective in decreasing pain intensity, whereas trunk, pelvic or leg stretching decreased pain intensity. Yoga improved functional limitation. Supervised training was the most effective method to improve pain intensity. Insufficient data precluded robust conclusions around the duration and frequency of the sessions and program.
Conclusion: Home-based exercise training improved pain intensity and functional limitation parameters in LBP.