Back Pain AdviceEducation
10 Facts about exercise and back pain
- Exercise is helpful for back pain – staying active as possible and returning to activities gradually is very important in aiding recovery. You can start by doing some gentle activity and then increase your levels when you feel confident to do so
- Rest is not helpful but getting back moving and to normal activities is – Scientific studies indicate that prolonged rest and avoidance of activity for people with low back pain actually leads to higher levels of pain, greater disability, poorer recovery and longer absence from work
- Exercise can prevent recurrence of back pain – Exercise can significantly prevent the recurrence of an episode of low back pain. Exercise also helps reduce low back pain and disability levels, when people stick with it long term
- Moving with confidence and without fear is important for back pain – Many people start moving slowly and minding themselves. Moving slowly and tensing actually puts more strain on your muscles.
- Exercising in a relaxed manner is important – Doing the exercises in a relaxed manner (e.g. moving normally, not guarding and not breath holding) and progressing gradually is also important
- The best type of exercise is the one you enjoy – People should do an exercise that they enjoy, that is affordable and easy to access. For example, walking, running, cycling, swimming, yoga and Pilates all have similar effects for back pain.
- Feeling sore after exercise does not indicate damage to your body – Underused muscles get sore more quickly than healthy muscles. Feeling stiff and sore after exercise does not indicate harm or damage to your body, it simply reflects your body not being used to the activity.
- Exercising regularly is a must – The amount of exercise you do is probably more important than the type of exercise. The greatest gains result when an inactive person starts doing any exercise. Getting more than 150 minutes a week has the greatest health benefits.
- Running on the road and swimming the breaststroke are not bad for back pain – Scientific research does not show that any of these activities are bad for your back or ‘wear out’ your joints. The amount you do is more important than the type. Any amount you can manage will result in benefit, but more than 30 minutes per day would be ideal.
- No drug or tablet delivers the diverse range of benefits as exercise – This is a fact that is often overlooked. Be aware too that all low back pain is not the same. If you have tried one form of exercise that didn’t work then why not pay us a visit to discuss a specific programme for you.