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.