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Motor Control Exercise for Lower Back Pain

Often labeled as LBP, lower back pain is one of the most common health conditions in the world. Despite the high number of people, it affects, the source of pain is oftentimes unclear. This can be described as “non-specific LBP”.

Prior studies believe that LBP is related to the deep trunk muscles and the impairment in those muscles. Motor control exercise (MCE) was thus developed with the goal of restoring those muscles and improving coordination and control of the trunk muscles supporting the spine.

MCE involves isolating the deep trunk muscles with contractions and the integration of complex static, dynamic, and functional tasks to improve the muscles.

In a new study led by Bruno Sara Giotto of The George Institute at the University of Sydney in Australia, they found low to moderate-quality evidence that MCE is more effective than a minimal intervention for chronic low back pain. MCE appeared to bring a reduction in pain, disability, and perceived quality of life when compared to other minimal interventions.

Sara Giotto says, “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 consider factors such as patient or therapist preferences, cost, and availability.”

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