A 2021 open access article published in the Journal of Physiotherapy reports on a systematic review of network meta-analysis of specific exercise treatments for adults with chronic low back pain (cLBP).
Exercise has long been supported as an effective and guideline-recommended treatment for cLBP; however, one of the remaining questions was, “Which type of exercise is the best?”. This review confirmed that most exercise types were more effective than minimal treatment and further identified that Pilates, McKenzie therapy, and functional restoration were more effective for reducing pain intensity and functional limitations.
A final and important consideration that relates specifically to the patient preference, a key element of an evidence-based practice, was suggested by the authors, “Nevertheless, people with chronic low back pain should be encouraged to perform the exercise that they enjoy to promote adherence.”
The take home message? For patients with cLBP, talk with them about what forms of exercise they do the most and encourage them to keep at it! For those who don’t have a regular routine, consider Pilates, McKenzie therapy, and functional restoration techniques.