Four RCTs were included in the review. The median validity score was 8 points (range 7 to 10 points). All were considered high-quality trials.
McKenzie directional preference-based exercise reported statistically significant effects for short-term activity (mean effect 16.95, 95% CI 8.74 to 25.16; one RCT) and short-term pain (mean effect 19.80, 95% CI 14.34 to 25.26; one RCT) compared to non-directional preference exercises for chronic pain.
There were no statistically significant sort-term or long-term differences in activity limitation using the Delitto treatment based classification rule (one RCT) between targeted treatment and control groups for sub-acute pain.
There were no statistically significant differences using the Flynn manipulation prediction rule between targeted treatment and control groups for short-term activity limitation (two RCTs), short-term pain (one RCT) and intermediate-term pain (one RCT) for acute pain. One of two RCTs that assessed intermediate-term activity limitation for acute pain reported a statistically significant effect in favour of the control group (mean effect -10.30, 95% CI -20.80 to 0.20; one RCT); the other RCT reported no statistically significant difference.