Lower Back pain


Low Back Pain Relief Through Exercise

Low Back Pain Relief Through Exercise

If you're one of the many who have tried to get in shape, took up a sport and struggled or had to stop or slow down because of back pain, then keep reading.

Back pain affects 35 to 40 percent of the adult population in the industrialized countries. About 5 percent of all back pain patients turn into serious cases who never return to a normal life. For decades, doctors, specialists, chiropractors, therapists have struggled to find a cure for back pain, yet the number of back pain sufferers seems to be going up instead of decreasing. Leaving statistics and other frightening large-scale facts aside, what can one do to better their back condition? How does one get out of the seemingly never-ending vicious cycle that starts with pain, less exercise, and leads to more pain and even less exercise and logically, decreased muscular strength (which seems to be a common factor amongst back pain sufferers).

Actually, going back to statistics for a minute, the maximum strength of back patients was found to be on an average 40 percent lower as compared to healthy people. The logical conclusion is that it's quite possible that the traditional "rest" treatment might not work when it comes to back pain. This does not mean that one should hit the gym and start doing sit-ups, bench presses and chin-ups. At least, not right away.

One must approach their condition with a bit more than just the conventional approach to back pain, and should start working on improving their condition through exercise. With that in mind, let's look at the place where all pain, is perceived, regardless of where it originated. As you've probably already guessed, we're talking about the mind. Research has shown that many pack pain sufferers are convinced that they are handicapped; some of them even stop working and try to live on disability because this often seems to be the "solution" that everyone is happy with. The employer doesn't have to deal with the employee who's frequently sick, and the doctor has one less complaining patient. But hope doesn't have to be lost. The back pain sufferer has to understand that exercise and strain have the power to heal if performed correctly and in moderation. Doctors Hildebrandt and Pfingsten at the University Hospital in Goettingen, Germany, have treated hundreds of back pain patients through exercise. They have developed a four-week program consisting of aerobic training, swimming, strength training, relaxation sessions and psychotherapy. The results were remarkable, even among patients who had been medically declared unable to work and given negative psychiatric diagnoses. The patients improved not only physically, but mentally as well. After going through this program, 63 percent of the patients were able to resume their jobs and daily lives.

Leaving the numbers aside for now, how does all that apply to one like you and me, who go to work every day, sit in an office chair for hours in a row, then get in a car, sit for 15 to 90 minutes, and barely have time or energy to exercise, and suffer from back pain? Here's how: you need to strengthen your muscles through daily exercise. Personally, I have been dealing with low back pain for a number of years, and I have tried a series of treatments, including acupuncture and massage, rest (no athletics for extended periods of time), avoided any sort of heavy or medium lifting, and so forth. My pain would decrease in time, but the minute I ventured into performing anything even remotely athletic like running or playing table tennis, the pain would come back, worse than ever before. Of course, after an episode like this, I would stop exercising and take another four to six weeks of rest; one of the consequences of these rest periods was that I would gain weight, which obviously doesn't help when you suffer from back pain. Eventually, I had to start breaking out of this cycle by including exercise and diet into my lifestyle without hurting my back even worse.

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