(HealthDay News) – Motor control exercises (MCE) are better at reducing pain and disability than other treatments for chronic low back pain (LBP), according to a review published in the March 15 issue of Spine.

Martin Gustaf Bystrm, PT, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a literature review to identify 16 randomized controlled trials that distinguished MCE from other treatments. Pain and disability outcomes were extracted and converted to a 0–100 scale.

Using pooled analysis, the researchers found that MCE yielded better results than general exercise with regard to disability during all time periods and with regard to pain in the short and intermediate term. MCE was superior to spinal manual therapy with regard to disability, but not for pain. MCE was also superior to minimal intervention for pain and disability during all time periods.

“More studies are, however, needed to investigate what subgroups of patients experiencing LBP respond best to MCE,” the authors write.

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