Three Scientifically Proven Low Back Pain Exercises

December 29, 2019
In many countries, up to half of the adults suffer from at least one episode of low back pain. Did you know that exercise is one of the best therapeutic options to fight it?

In this article, we’ll talk about low back pain exercises: which are the best ones, and what factors you should take into account when you do them.

Experts have studied how to deal with this problem, and the only treatments that have proven to be really effective for low back pain are exercising and avoiding bed rest.

In this article, we decided to share three low back pain exercises backed up by scientific evidence. Try them out today!

Low back pain exercises

One reason why it’s so difficult to treat low back pain is that it’s often “non-specific pain”. At least 85% of the people that seek medical attention for it have non-specific low back pain.

Experts believe that the cause and aggravation of this type of back pain is a combination of factors, such as:

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excess weight
  • Fear of movement
  • Financial, social, or family problems
  • Anxious and depressive tendencies

This article may interest you: 8 Habits to Help Treat Low Back Pain

Currently, the first-line treatment for non-specific low back pain is exercise. Here are three scientifically-proven low back pain exercises:

1. Muscle strengthening

Overall, strength training is extremely beneficial for this pain, especially if you do a full-body workout plan. Besides, it can also prevent relapse.

To design a good muscle strengthening plan, it’s best if you get advice from a personal trainer or your trusted physiotherapist if your symptoms are very intense.

A woman exercising.

Strengthening exercises are beneficial to prevent and fight low back pain.

And what about core strengthening?

It seems that strengthening the core to treat back pain helps because it represents general exercise, not because your abs are weak.

In fact, these exercises are no more effective than any other in the long-term. Also, it’s believed that this is due to several factors, such as:

  • In the natural course of this condition, the pain usually decreases after a few weeks, whether you exercise or not
  • Strengthening your core is the same as exercising, which is why it provides the same benefits as any other physical activity, at the least short term
  • When you exercise, you’re more aware of what you’re doing, helping you avoid movements that can worsen your back pain. This allows the body to decrease the pain on its own.

2. Aerobic exercise

Low aerobic capacity is directly related to chronic low back pain. Aerobic exercise helps reduce back pain in several ways:

  • It increases blood flow and the transfer of nutrients to different parts of the body, improving the healing process of the injury (if any)
  • It reduces muscle stiffness associated with back pain
  • 30-40 minutes of aerobic exercise increases the production of endorphins, thus reducing the perception of pain
  • Aerobic exercise can prevent the need for medications to reduce the pain

The results are similar regardless of the type of aerobic exercise, whether it’s high or low intensity. However, the safest, easiest, and most inexpensive way to start doing this kind of exercise is walking.

In fact, walking can be as effective as other non-pharmacological therapies to reduce pain, both in the short and long term.

You should also read: Arnica and Coconut Oil Ointment to Treat Lower Back Pain

3. Pilates, yoga, or tai chi

These exercises require a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual concentration, which is why they can help reduce the anxiety and stress associated with low back pain.

Pilates, yoga, and tai chi exercises have been proven for low back pain, as they can reduce pain and function as rehabilitation tools. The choice depends on individual preferences, as all three have been backed by scientific evidence for the treatment of low back pain.

People doing yoga.

Pilates exercises, as well as yoga and tai chi, are good alternatives to treat low back pain. Also, they help control the stress and anxiety associated with this condition.

Low back pain exercises: which is the best?

The best one for you is the one you can do continuously over time. It doesn’t matter if you like Pilates, or prefer to have a weekly walking routine, or like going to the gym, or love doing yoga – the most important thing is that you enjoy whatever you decide to do.

What all these low back pain exercises have in common is that they get the body moving. So, the name of the exercise doesn’t matter – you have the freedom to choose! Try one of these low back pain exercises and keep doing the one that gives you the best results.

Consult your doctor before starting an exercise routine, if apart from your low back pain you have other symptoms such as:

  • Sudden weight loss or weight loss with no apparent cause
  • Numbness, pricking, or little sensitivity or increased sensitivity in the legs and feet
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Redness in the area
  • A history of hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or any other disease

In short, exercise is very beneficial to treat lumbago or low back pain, while absolute rest can be detrimental. Therefore, it’s wise to choose a type of physical activity to get your body moving. Nevertheless, you should avoid overexertion.

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