Exercise designed to boost coordination of the spine muscles can reduce back pain according to the latest findings. The program is called motor control exercise and it begins with the patient practicing normal use of the spine muscles by conducting regular tasks and activities which is guided by a physical therapist. Exercises become gradually more intense and difficult and can include movements that the patient may use during work or recreational activities.
Data was analyzed from 29 clinical trials including over 2,400 people who suffered from lower back pain between the ages of 22 and 55. Effectiveness of motor control exercise was evaluated compared with other form of exercise and also compared with doing nothing.
Those patients who partook in motor control exercises saw the greatest improvements and experienced the least amount of pain and disability compared to those who did nothing. Compared to other forms of exercises motor control exercises was still seen to have greater improvements over the course of 12 months.
Lead author Bruno Saragiotto said, “Targeting the strength and coordination of muscles that support the spine through motor control exercise offers an alternative approach to treating lower back pain. We can be confident that they are as effective as other types of exercise, so the choice of exercise should take into account factors such as patient or therapist preferences, cost and availability.”
“At present, we don’t really know how motor control exercise compares with other forms of exercise in the long term. It’s important we see more research in this field so that patients can make more informed choices about persisting with treatment,” Saragiotto concluded.