The trial randomised 262 people to the exercise and education programme or to a control group, who received only a single phone call with basic advice. The primary outcome of this study was the risk of recurrence of activity-limiting low back pain.
The best estimate was that a McKenzie-based self-management exercise and education programme does not produce worthwhile reductions in the risk of an activity-limiting episode of low back pain; however, modestly reduced or moderately increased risk could not be ruled out.
Interestingly, the trial also assessed whether people had low back pain that required them to seek care from a health professional. Although the recurrence of back pain probably didn't decrease, there was a strong trend that care seeking tended to decrease in the experimental group.
This suggests that the exercise and education programme might help people to self-manage any recurrence of low back pain, rather than burdening the healthcare system. Despite this, the impact of the low back pain on the participants' lives was clearly unaffected by the exercise and education programme.