Muscle exercise can improve back pain

Exercise has long been theorized as a remedy for back pain, but new research is suggesting that focusing those exercises on certain muscles could actually be an effective strategy to prevent and reduce back pain. The research, published in the latest issue of the Cochrane Library, found that exercises targeted toward the muscles that support and control the spine minimize the debilitating effects of lower back pain.

Researchers gathered data from 29 randomized trials with a total of 2,431 participants, both men and women, between the ages of 22 and 55. The trials analyzed the effect of motor control exercises, or exercises meant to improve the coordination of the muscles around the spine, on lower back pain compared to other forms of exercise and doing nothing.

They examined results at intervals between three and 12 months, ultimately finding that participants who used motor control exercise felt improvement in their lower back pain. They also found that motor control exercise produced similar results as other types of exercise,

"Targeting the strength and coordination of muscles that support the spine through motor control exercise offers an alternative approach to treating lower back pain," Bruno Saragiotto, the study's lead author and physiotherapist from the George Institute at the University of Sydney, said in a news release. "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."

However, the researchers do not yet know how this form of exercise compares with others in long-term results. Saragiotto said the team plans to conduct further research to get those results and provide more conclusive details to help patients make more informed decisions about their treatment.

If you're experiencing lower back pain, you should schedule an appointment with a professional chiropractor today.