Stretching vs Motor Control Exercises for Low Back Pain

What’s This Research About?

This study investigates the effectiveness of a 6 week Stretching Exercise (SE)
intervention vs. Motor Control Exercise (MCE) intervention on reducing
compensatory pelvic motion during active prone knee flexion (APKF) and
low back pain intensity.

Previous studies suggest a potential cause for compensatory anterior pelvic
tilt is increased passive stiffness of the rectus femoris. SE has been recommended
to decrease compensatory anterior pelvic tilt and reduce the intensity of LBP
during APKF in individuals in the lumbar- rotation-extension subgroup. 
motor control is another possible cause of compensatory anterior pelvic tilt during
APKF. Studies suggest individuals with LBP initiate pelvic anterior tilt and rotation
before end range of APKF when compared with individuals without LBP. MCE
using pressure biofeedback and the abdominal drawing in maneuver has been
shown to be an effective way to reduce and delay lumbopelvic motion in
individuals in the lumbar-rotation-extension subgroup.

They hypothesized that there will be differences between the two programs
(SE and MCE) in delaying and decreasing anterior pelvic tilt and rotation,
in delaying and decreasing erector spinae activity, and in decreasing LBP
in daily activity.

About The Author


Jenn Pilotti

TITLE: Effects of motor control exercise versus muscle stretching exercise on reducing compensatory lumbopelvic motions and low back pain: a randomized trial.


PUBLICATION: Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy

DATE: September 2016

AUTHORS : K.N. Park, O.Y. Kwon, H.S. Cynn, J.H. Weon, T.H. Kim, and H.S. Choi

  • 70-90% of adults will suffer from low back pain at some point in their lives
  • 50% will have a recurrent episode
  • 5-10% will develop chronic low back pain

Classification System: Sahrmann and Van Dillen developed a classification system based on 5 subgroups: lumbar 
flexion, lumbar extension, lumbar rotation, lumbar-rotation-flexion, and lumbar-rotation- 

Lumbar-rotation-extension: the most common subgroup in patients with LBP

Active prone knee flexion (APKF): a commonly used movement test to classify lumbar-

Stretching exercises (SE):  stretching exercises for the rectus femoris are recommended to decrease anterior pelvic 

Motor Control Exercise (MCE): has been suggested to reduce compensatory lumbopelvic motion in people with lumbar-


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By |2017-07-01T03:34:55-04:00May 20th, 2017|Conditions, Stretching|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jenn Pilotti has a BS in exercise physiology from UC Davis. After graduating in 2002, she was hired by the Beach and Tennis Club at Pebble Beach as a full time personal trainer. While there, she had the privilege of working with individuals of all ages, many of whom had aches and pains from a life well led. This piqued her interest in injuries, prevention, and pain. After years of undirected self study (and after leaving the security of a full time position to go out on her own), she enrolled in an online program through AT Still University, eventually acquiring a master's in human movement while working full time. After graduating, she continued to read research and write about its application to her work with clients. She fell in love with yoga in 2004, finally became 200 hour RYT in 2014 after years of workshops and self study (there seems to a theme), and continues to study somatic disciplines. She is DNS exercise trainer certified, FRCms, MovNat level I certified, GMB trainer certified, has taken PRI respiration, myokinematics, impingement and instability, and pelvis restoration, and has read an embarrassing number of books on movement, psychology, and wellness. She has an insatiable curiosity about what makes for a healthy person, physically and mentally, and she finds herself often asking why things work for some and not for others. She strongly believes in the power of knowledge and the power of movement. Learn more about Jenn Pilotti.