McKenzie Method and Motor Control Exercises Comparison for Chronic Low Back Pain
Low back pain (LBP) is a common disorder involving the muscles, nerves, and bones of the back. Pain can vary from a dull constant ache to a sudden sharp feeling. It may involve back stiffness, decreased movement of the lower back, and difficulty standing straight. Doing many activities, such as lifting the wrong way, for a long time or bending your waist wrongly may cause pain.
Various therapies or exercises are prescribed to prevent low back pain, but motor control exercises are believed to improve the co-ordination of the trunk muscles.
Motor control exercises (MCEs) may help in reducing pain and disability caused by chronic LBP. Targeting the strength and coordination of muscles that support the spine through motor control exercise offers an alternative approach to treat low back pain. It is unclear that whether increase in trunk muscle thickness can be facilitated by approaches like, the McKenzie method. Furthermore, it is also unclear that which approach will have superior clinical outcomes.
To compare the effects of McKenzie method and motor control exercises on trunk muscle recruitment in people with chronic LBP classified with directional preference, a randomized trial was conducted. Outcomes for pain, function and global perceived effect was also compared. Seventy people were included in the randomized trial of chronic low back pain, who demonstrated a directional preference using the McKenzie method and received 12 treatments over 8 weeks with McKenzie method or with motor control approaches. All outcomes were collected at baseline and at 8 week follow up by blinded assessors.
No significant difference between group was found for trunk muscle thickness of the transversus abdominis confidence interval, obliquus internus and obliquus externus after the analysis. Perceived recovery was slightly superior in the McKenzie group. No significant differences between group were found for pain or function. However, no significant effect of treatment group for trunk muscle thickness were observed. Participants reported a slightly greater sense of perceived recovery with the McKenzie method than with the motor control approach.