Exercise therapy benefits low back pain patients, but type of exercise matters little
GOTHENBURG, Sweden —Patients with chronic low back pain who participated in exercise therapy sessions during a randomized controlled trial responded equally well to motor control exercises and graded activities regarding pain, function and other key outcomes, according to investigators.
Both forms of exercise are promising, according to Luciana Macedo, PT, MSc, of the University of Alberta, Canada, presented results at the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine Annual Meeting 2011, here.
“For this general population of chronic nonspecific low back pain, graded activity and motor controls have similar effects in reducing pain and disability and increasing function and global impression of change in quality of life in patients with chronic nonspecific back pain,” she said.
Macedo and colleagues randomized 172 individuals who had experienced low back pain for more than 12 weeks to one of the two exercise therapy modalities — motor control exercise or graded activity — both of which involved 14 exercise therapy sessions. Patients participated in their respective treatments and were assessed immediately afterward, as well as 6 months and 12 months later to ascertain their levels of pain, functional ability, disability, as well as global impressions of change and quality of life results.
Both groups’ primary outcomes were not statistically significantly different, nor were the findings for their secondary outcome measures, according to the abstract.
“Our message to take home is that in this patient population, and with the current effect that we have for exercise therapy, we should focus on therapist expertise and patient’s preference when choosing the best treatment for chronic nonspecific back pain,” Macedo said.
- Macedo L, Latimer J, Maher C, et al. The effect of motor control exercise versus graded activity in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain: Immediate after-treatment results from a randomized controlled trial. Paper #P28. Presented at the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine Annual Meeting 2011. June 14-18. Gothenburg, Sweden.
- Disclosure: The study was funded by the Australian Research Council.