Exercise helps relieve back pain
(Mirror Daily, United States) – You know back pain, right? It’s that little goblin that grips your lower back with its sharp claws and squeezes, occasionally moving upwards, making your day worse it already is. Well, a team of researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia wanted to look into it, and here is how to get rid of back pain with exercise.
The answer to that is extremely simple and convenient, albeit a bit of a copout – any way you want to.
You see, when the team of researchers from Sidney led by Chris Maher, a health researcher who used to be a physical therapist, decided to find out what is to be done about back pain, they looked at a number of popular solutions, and found that most of them didn’t work.
Special soles didn’t work, back braces didn’t work, ergonomic chairs didn’t work, and resting in bed definitely didn’t work. What did work, though, was pretty much any sort of physical exercise.
The team of Australian researchers looked at 21 studies on the matter, from all over the world, studies which amassed a large number of participants, more than 30,000, and focused on the treatment and prevention of lower back pain.
As it turns, out, any form of exercise that involves the back in any way can lead to a decrease in the chances of back pain returning in 25% to 40% of cases; the chances are even better for reducing existing back pain, especially if you use a trainer, or someone that can teach you how to properly exercise.
Exercising was found to reduce back pain complaints by 35% over a year of exercising, and if the study participants actually exercised properly, the complaints reduced by 45%.
Publishing the paper in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers commented about the medical society, which would rather have their patients spend loads of money on medication and devices, even though simple exercise can handle the back pain better than anything else in the 21 studies.
Looking at what types of exercise are better, the team reached the conclusion that pretty much all of them are; aerobic exercise, core strengthening, flexibility and stretching, and even yoga can help with back pain, offering relief, as well as reduced chances of it returning.
The only limitation they found, however, was that the effects of working out diminished over time, and about a year in they stopped actually being helpful. Returning to exercising, though, proved helpful once again.
As their final advice, the study’s authors recommend the type of exercise that makes the back pain sufferer feel the most confortable; also, they recommend quitting smoking, as the habit dries out the discs between vertebrae, offering reduced shock absorption.
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