According to the latest publication of Cochrane Library Review, new research shows that targeting muscles that control and support the spine during exercise is an effective strategy to reduce pain and disability often associated with lower back pain, a very common health problem across the globe.
Lower back pain often leads to a number of substantial health costs, with sufferers experiencing disability and general ill health that subsequently result in major economic costs if those people are forced to spend long periods of time off work.
One of the most popular forms of exercise that can greatly boost the coordination of muscles that support and control your spine -- and which this study dwelled on -- is what we call the motor control exercise. Initially, a therapist will guide you on how to practice the normal use of your muscles using simple tasks and movements. As your skill improves, the exercises will become much more complex and include such functional tasks as those that are often performed when working, as well as during muscle-tasking leisure activities.
In the study, data was collected from 29 randomized trials that involved a total of 2,431 adults, both men and women, all aged between 22 and 55 years. According to the report authored by the Cochrane researchers, it was found out that people who utilized motor control exercises regularly experienced some substantive improvements, more so in pain and disability, compared to those who had minimal intervention in their muscles.
However, when compared to other kinds of muscle exercise at intervals of 3 to 12 months, motor control exercises resulted in similar results for both pain and disability.
The lead author of the report, physiotherapist Bruno Saragiotto from The George Institute of the University of Sydney in Australia, said that when the strength and coordination of body muscles that support the spine are targeted using motor control exercises, patients have an alternative approach to the treatment of chronic lower back pain.
For now, at least we are confident that such exercises are as effective as other kinds of exercise. The choice of exercise for a particular patient should therefore take into account other factors such as what the patient prefers, or what the therapist thinks is best for their patient, as well as cost and availability.
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