Chronic lower back pain - resistance training or general exercise?


Chronic lower back pain is very common, and is often multi-factorial, making it a challenge to treat effectively. However, exercise therapy is an area which has repeatedly shown to benefit to those who suffer with chronic lower back pain.


Tataryn, N. et al., (2021) looked into the effectiveness of performing posterior-chain resistance training compared with general exercise. 408 participants with chronic lower back pain underwent a 12-16 week programme of either posterior-chain resistance training (targeting muscle groups of the thoracic, lumbar and posterior hips) or a walking exercise group. Both groups performed at least one session for 12-16 weeks and their pain, strength and disability levels were assessed at the end of the study.


In all outcomes of pain, strength and disability, those who underwent posterior-chain resistance training had significantly greater improvements to those that followed the walking group intervention. Some worry that resistance training may cause further injury, however, this study found there were no more adverse events from one test group to another.


Maintaining sufficient muscular strength and endurance, as well as adequate levels of motor control of the posterior chain musculature, allows us to be able to go to work, play sports and partake in recreational activities without the fear of injury.