Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

Motor skills training for back pain is mediocre at best

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Got back pain? Trouble bending over? Twisting this-a-way? Flexing that-a-way? Maybe just keep trying! The “just do it” school of therapy.

Motor skills training is basically doing movements that are “difficult to perform because of low back pain.” A new study presents evidence that it’s a bit more effective than stretching/strengthening. Just a bit. Meh.

In addition to damning MST with faint praise, this study has some other problems that I go over in my full commentary. I don’t think’s a great one.

It’s been quite a while since I last saw anything close to a “great study” in this field, and practically every allegedly positive result is underwhelming. The praise is always awfully faint…if not downright illusory.