Promising new research finds exercise can prevent lower back pain

Exercise, alone or in combination with education, is effective for preventing lower back pain. “Low back pain is a significant global health burden, yet there is a lack of clear guidelines for prevention and interventions include everything from shoe insoles to education,” said Daniel Steffens, PhD, University of Sydney, Australia and George Institute Fellow. “Our study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of current interventions. We found that exercise alone, or in combination with education, is effective for preventing back pain. In contrast, we also found that education alone, back belts, shoe insoles and ergonomic interventions do not prevent back pain.”


“Targeting the strength and coordination of muscles that support the spine through motor control exercise offers an alternative approach to treating lower back pain,” said Saragiotto, the study’s lead author. “We can be confident that motor control exercises are as effective as other types of exercise, so the choice of exercise should take into account factors such as patient or therapist preferences, cost and availability.”