According to the researchers, these exercises not only reduce pain, but patients are more physically active and experience positive effects over a longer period of time.
''Although the exercises seemed promising, until now we did not have clear evidence on whether or not they were more effective,'' said researcher Luciana G Macedo, PT, MSc, a PhD student at The George Institute for International Health in Sydney, Australia.
The motor control exercise, also known as specific stabilization exercise, is a new form of exercise for back pain, which focuses on regaining control of the trunk muscles, which support and control the spine.
''It is important to note that this form of exercise is different from going to the gym or going for a walk,'' said Macedo.
''The program relies upon a skilled clinician, such as a physical therapist, identifying the specific trunk muscles that are a problem and then working closely with patients to teach them how to get the muscles working properly again.
''The patient first learns to control these muscles in simple postures, then later in more challenging activities. The ultimate goal is for the patient to get the muscles to work to control and support the spine in those activities that previously caused pain,'' she added.
The new systematic review published in the January issue of Physical Therapy (PTJ), the scientific journal of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).