Exercise and back pain
Benefits of Exercise
When done in a controlled, progressive manner, exercises for relieving back pain have many benefits, including:
A balanced workout should include a combination of stretching and strengthening, as well as aerobic exercise that elevates the heart rate.
Exercise as Prescription for Back Pain
An effective program of back exercises should be comprehensive, working the whole body even as it targets the back. Exercise can be thought of as any other health prescription: A qualified health professional will customize exercise based on a variety of factors. These factors typically include:
Maintaining the Exercise Program Over Time
Adherence to exercise is one of the most important factors for long term pain relief. However, maintaining exercise can be difficult for a variety of reasons, including worsened pain with activity, economic constraints, and low motivation. In one study, the most common reason for lack of adherence to exercise was increased pain caused by activity. When this is the case, an exercise professional can incorporate pain reduction and management as primary parts of the exercise program.
Personal preference also plays a role in adherence—for instance, if an exercise routine is too painful or not enjoyable, it is less likely to be done regularly enough to be effective.
1.Leijon ME, Faskunger J, Bendtsen P, Festin K, Nilsen P. Who is not adhering to physical activity referrals, and why?. Scand J Prim Health Care. 2011;29(4):234-40.
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