Exercise that boosts coordination may also reduce back pain
March 7, 2016
Topic: physical therapy
An exercise that is used to help people improve their coordination and skill level may also help to reduce lower back pain.
Lower back pain is one of the most common types of chronic pain that people experience. Approximately 8 out of 10 people have dealt with lower back pain at one point or another in their life. Back pain is also one type of pain that comes in a large range - it can be a dull, consistent ache or it can be an extreme, sharp pain.
"Back pain can be considerably bothersome in daily life, even causing time off work."
Understanding lower back pain
There are several reasons why people may experience chronic lower back pain. It can be caused by issues with spinal nerves, strain in back muscles from overextension, damage to the bones or joints in the spine, or even a degenerating disc in the spinal cord. This pain can stay within the lower back region, or it can extend to other areas of the back. This widespread pain can cause limited mobility and reduce a person's quality of life. If the pain comes on suddenly, people may be inclined to rest in bed for a few days. However, because of the complexity of the spinal cord and the nerves and muscles that surround it, bed rest can sometimes make it worse.
While lower back pain usually does not result in a need for urgent care, it can be considerably bothersome in daily life, even causing time off work. Yet because of the range in severity, pain causes and pain tolerance, people usually do very little about it other than take the occasional dose of aspirin. Visiting a health care provider or physical therapist can often provide a person with helpful exercises, but these do not always work. Luckily, there may be a new exercise on the market that can help.
A surprising discovery
Muscle control exercises are a great way for people to improve their motor skills and coordination, and are commonly recommended by physical therapists. Often, the initial exercises suggested are relatively easy to perform. After people master these activities, the next ones become a little more complex, and so on. Usually a physical therapist will begin to incorporate daily tasks that the patient has to complete in their job or home. The prescribed tasks not only help improve a person's quality of life, but they also reduce lower back pain.
Researchers from the University of Sydney decided to put the exercises to the test by looking through 29 randomized trials that included a total of 2,431 participants, ranging in age from 22 to 55. Each of the trials tested muscle control exercises against other random exercises to determine which had a higher likelihood of reducing lower back pain. The researchers concluded that muscle control exercises helped reduce lower back pain, even in severe and disabling cases. The study authors are hopeful that this exercise will be used as a new form of treatment. However, they plan to continue their research to determine its long-term effects on back pain.
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