Even the simplest tasks can be difficult when you have chronic lower back pain.
Patients can learn new, practical, and less painful ways to move through individualized "Motor skills training," or MST, according to a new study.
MST appears to relieve lower back pain disability better than a more common but less-tailored exercise regimen focused on improving strength and flexibility, according to a two-year study of nearly 150 patients.
"Our findings suggest that motor skill training in functional activities is an effective and efficient treatment that improves function in people with chronic low back pain in both the short and long term," said study lead author Linda Van Dillen.
According to Van Dillen, lower back pain is extremely common and the leading cause of disability.
According to Van Dillen, at least 60% to 80% of adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives, and "nearly half of them will have had a major episode by the age of 30."
According to the researchers, there is no accepted standard of care for chronic lower back pain patients, nor is there a clear understanding of what type of exercise intervention might be most effective.
Van Dillen's team focused on a group of patients diagnosed with "Non-specific" lower back pain to get a better understanding of the problem.
All of the participants had been suffering from lower back pain for at least a year before the study began in December 2013.
The other group participated in MST, which teaches patients new ways to perform everyday tasks that have become difficult due to back pain.
MST patients were happier with their care and were less likely to take pain relievers.
MST patients had fewer acute back pain flare-ups and were more likely to keep up with their exercises six months after starting the program.
When their back pain flared up after a year, it was less severe, according to the researchers.
"I think any structured therapy can be beneficial, because you want the muscles moving and working to help with back pain," Park said, adding that the findings appear to be statistically significant and support the benefit of therapy on back pain.
Visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to learn more about lower back pain.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is a federal agency that studies neurological disorders and strokes.
QUESTION Almost everyone suffers from low back pain at some point in their lives.
Read the original article "What Exercises are the Most Effective for Lower Back Pain?
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