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September 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 7)

A tailored exercise plan could be the answer to low back pain
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

A tailored exercise plan could be the answer to low back pain image

Following on from a report last week that painkillers don’t help with low back pain, researchers have found that a tailored exercise programme undoes many of the bad habits of poor posture that caused the problem in the first place.

Exercise improves mobility and posture—and, as a result, levels of pain as well, say researchers from the University of East Finland.

A three-month programme of tailored exercises which ended each time with a manual therapy, such as massage, helped improve mobility in a group of 70 people with low back pain—and they were still reporting better mobility and less pain a year later.

Half the group had a tailored exercise plan and the rest had general exercises that are thought to help cope with back pain.

Although both groups improved, those who had the tailored exercises had less disability and improved function.

Although poor movement contributes to the problem, sufferers don't seem to understand that poor posture is often the real cause. Even though the cause may be common, each person's back pain seems a little different. That's why those given generic exercises didn't fare as well, and this also explains why other studies that have looked at general exercise programmes have often come back with indifferent results, the researchers say.


References

(Source: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2016; 17: doi: 10.1186/s12891-016-0986-y)

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