Preventive Exercise for Low Back Pain
Some truly ground breaking research came out of Australia in the late 1990’s. One study examined a unique approach to treating low back pain one that focused on the deep stabilizing muscles of the lower back.

These deep muscles are named the transverse abdominis (TA) and multifidus (MF). A trial was completed where 39 subjects with acute first time onset of lower back pain were treated medically(bed rest, absence from work, medications and advice to resume activity as tolerated and allocated to a control group or a specific exercise group.

The exercise group got 4 weeks of training in how to co-contract the TA and MF muscle groups. At 1 year follow up, additional treatment was sought by 42% of the control group subjects and only 15% of the exercise group. For 2-3 years, 25% of the control group sought treatment versus only 20% of the exercise group.

At 1 year follow up, patients in the control group were 12.4 times more likely to experience recurrence of low back pain than patients in the specific exercise group and 9times more likely to experience low back pain in 2 to 3 years. Recurrent episodes were rated as severe and disabling as the original episode in 56% of the control group, but in only 33% in the exercise group.

Specific exercise therapy may be required to restore normal muscle function. Deficient stabilization of lumbar segments caused by a deficient MF may explain low back pain recurrence with minimal or no predisposing factors.

Hides JA, PhD, et al. Long term effects of specific stabilizing exercises for first-episode low back pain. Spine Journal 2001; 26:E243-8.

And for those with neck pain
There are also wonderful gentle exercises proven to decrease pain and dysfunction of the neck musculature. Call us to find out more.



Interactive Spine - Chiropractic edition ©
2001 Primal Pictures Ltd