Lower back pain is the largest cause of disability in the world, with over 540 million people suffering from it

A study published in The Lancet indicates that lower back pain is treated mostly wrong. What’s more, the surgeries, injections, and opioids often make things worse, according to the journal. Few conditions are as common as low back pain. It is very likely that you know someone who suffers from it or that you suffer from it yourself, says Martin Underwood, because everyone will have to deal with it sometimes in his or her life. Underwood is a professor in the medical department of Warwick University in Great Britain and was involved in the three-part research that appeared in the professional journal The Lancet*.


For years his colleagues and he have often been confronted with people who suffered from low back pain, the cause of which was not immediately known. Logical, as their research shows, because in the vast majority of cases there is no direct cause. The pain can be a consequence of the lifestyle of the patient, who for example has too little exercise or is overweight, but it can also occur due to psychological, economic or social factors or as a result of other pain complaints. In other words, things that do not immediately require medical intervention.

Yet patients – all too often with financial motives – are advised by doctors and hospitals to undergo surgery or to consider injections. This is not only expensive but the research now also shows that operations can make the problem worse. Sometimes vertebrae are fused to each other or artificial disc are added. The researchers discovered that this can be completely useless, as well as advising resting and stopping work.

Prescribing medicines with opioids is also wrong because they are very addictive and are not the most effective painkillers. As a result, patients will have to take more and more of them and the risk of addiction increases.


Good approach.

Underwood and his colleagues are sounding the alarm: it is high time that low back pain is dealt with in a proper way. “Useless treatments are far too often prescribed for chronic back pain,” says Judith Turner, a clinical psychologist at the University of Washington. “And treatments that do work are under-utilized. What are these treatments?

  • staying active
  • following cognitive therapy
  • learning to breathe well
  • having enough exercise


Redefining spine care.

Since the 80’s DAVID has evolved in offering medical exercise devices specifically designed for people with spine-related complaints. The David concept is based on exercise therapy that promotes the functioning of muscles and joints. The DAVID solution fits perfectly with the recommendations made in the research published in The Lancet. The devices have been developed in such a way that within three treatment sessions patients know how to use the devices without the help of the physical therapist. The software that is equipped on each device ensures a balanced training and motivates the patients to continue training for their health.


Rehabilitation software.

The EVE software provides an adequate graded activity program that enables the physical therapist to compose an optimal training program for the patient. Testing and measuring patients at the beginning and at the end of the treatment cycle provides a clear picture of the mobility and strength of the muscles around the spine. The biofeedback system and the preset program rules automatically control the program where it is deemed necessary. The most commonly heard feedback from patients is that they feel very comfortable and safe by training with the DAVID devices.


Regular physical therapy.

In regular physical therapy, we see a variety of treatments that are successful and less successful. It is often impossible to estimate in advance which treatment is the most suitable for which patient. For example, one patient may benefit from manual therapy and another patient may benefit from dry-needling therapy. What we do know is that the degree of motivation and the time factor are very important elements in the success or failure of treatment.

Regular physical therapy for lower back pain


The patient who uses DAVID.

The DAVID solution fits perfectly with existing treatments that can create conditions for acute patients to do exercises. For chronic patients, exercise therapy within safe settings is always recommended according to the new insights. The advantages of using DAVID equipment in exercise therapy can be described as follows:

  • The patient feels safe and the movement anxiety is prevented or reduced
  • The training program is comfortable and customized
  • The weights are automatically adjusted according to the feedback system
  • The patient is in control of the treatment
  • The software motivates patients to continue training


Advantages for the physical therapist.

  • The physical therapist does not have to worry about the settings of the equipment and the correctness of the exercise
  • Physical therapists can motivate and inform the patient during the exercises
  • Employees can treat more patients at the same time


Information and contact.

Would you like more information about the possibilities of DAVID within your medical centerphysical therapist practice or rehabilitation setting? Please contact us.

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Bastiaan Meijer
Digital Marketing Manager



Jonathan C Hill, David GT Whitehurst, Martyn Lewis, Stirling Bryan, Kate M Dunn, Nadine E Foster, Kika Konstantinou, Chris J Main, Elizabeth Mason, Simon Somerville, Gail Sowden, Kanchan Vohora, Elaine M Hay. Comparison of stratified primary care management for low back pain with current best practice (STarT Back): a randomised controlled trialThe Lancet, 2011; 378 (9802): 1560 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60937-9