Chronic low back pain and postural rehabilitation exercise: a literature review

J Pain Res. 2018 Dec 20;12:95-107. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S171729. eCollection 2019.


Chronic low back represents one of the major causes of disability worldwide. Our narrative review has the purpose of highlighting the evidence supporting the different rehabilitative techniques described for its management. In total, 26 studies were found suitable to be included in the review (14 articles about pilates, six about McKenzie (MK), one article about Feldenkrais, three about Global Postural Rehabilitation (GPR) and two about Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation). The effect of exercise therapy was examined for each single study through changes in the main clinical outcomes (pain, disability,) quality of life (QoL) and psychological aspects and the targeted aspects of physical function (muscle strength, mobility, muscular activity and flexibility). All the techniques are effective for the study groups with respect to the control groups in reducing pain and disability and improving the QoL and maintaining benefits at follow-up; pilates, Back School, MK and Feldenkrais methods reduce pain and are more efficient than a pharmacological or instrumental approach in reducing disability and improving all psychological aspects also. GPR shows long lasting results for the last outcome. To date, it is difficult to affirm the superiority of one approach over another. Further high quality research is needed to confirm the effect of these techniques, together with the use of more appropriate evaluation measures.

Keywords: Alexander method; Feldenkrais; Global Postural Rehabilitation; McKenzie; Mézières; Souchard; aspecific chronic low back pain; chronic low back pain; pilates.

Publication types

  • Review