If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of Americans that experience back pain, you’re likely struggling to find an effective treatment plan.
As unintuitive as it sounds, movement is one of the best ways to get a handle on it. Sitting, especially for non-specific lower back pain (meaning it has no identifiable cause), can increase pain, stiffness, and immobility.
But is there one kind of exercise that works better than the rest?
There might be.
A recent study looked at how different forms of exercise helped people cope with lower back pain.
One hundred fifty participants were randomly divided into two groups for the two-year study. One group received strength and flexibility training, while the other took part in individualized “motor skills training,” or MST.
MST aims to address how individuals move throughout the day. It is based on posture and movement patterns to best tailor pain-limiting movement throughout the day.
Each group got six weeks of training for one hour per week, while half had “booster” sessions six months later.
Although both groups saw improved ability to move through life with less pain, the MST group had significantly better scores on disability questionnaires. Further, the MST group had fewer back pain flare-ups, and when they did experience pain, it was not as bad.
At the end of the day, more movement can help you deal with stiff or sore backs that are not the result of acute injury. Trying to fit more walking and stretching into your day, or working with a therapist to learn MST, may help reduce pain and make your life better.
Managing back pain is all about helping make routine tasks easy again. Boosting activity can help keep muscles and joints loose to help with mobility and quality of life.