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Exercise to Relieve Back Pain

Types of Back Exercise Programs

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Updated January 03, 2012

Consumer Medical Reports rates exercise as the most effective treatment for back pain. From abdominal muscles to back muscles, strengthening and stretching are part of nearly every back rehab program. This list goes over some of the main types of exercise programs that can help relieve back pain.

Yoga - Ancient System of Poses

Doing yoga cultivates a balance between the flexibility and strength of the muscles of the body, often the real culprit in back pain. People with back pain have to be extra careful when trying out exercise. While yoga can confer many benefits on the back or neck pain sufferers, it can have its pitfalls. Establish a yoga practice that takes into consideration why you have back pain, and how much of it there is. This means understanding your condition, being willing to modify yoga instruction so that you do not have pain while you work, and knowing which poses to skip, to avoid making your symptoms worse.

Core Stabilization Training

Core stabilization, core strength and core support are buzzwords meaning pretty much the same thing. In the past few decades research has shown that strengthening the core muscles of the body is an excellent way to support upright posture and good alignment, as well as reduce back or neck pain.

More and more, rehab clinics are giving core strengthening exercises as home programs to their back and neck patients. In the fitness world, there has been an explosion of new program types, many of which are dedicated to core work. And while having a lot choices is a good thing, as a back or neck pain sufferer you need to be sure that your program fits you and your condition, and that your instructor is properly qualified.

Water Exercise - Aquatic Therapy

Water exercise, also known as aquatic therapy, utilizes unique properties of water to strengthen back muscles, increase flexibility and decrease pain. Being in the water provides support and weightlessness, which reduces pressure on the joints caused by weight bearing and/or exercising on land. The supportive water environment is one in which back pain is reduced, making it an excellent choice for people with arthritis or with injuries to heal.

The bouyancy of water can support your body while you move your joints, which helps to increase joint range of motion. Resistance, also called drag, will help you to strengthen your muscles. And, being in the water is plesant and fun for many people, increasing the motivation to exercise.

The Egoscue Method

The Egoscue is an unconventional system of exercise that aims at restoring body's natural motion capabilities. The developer of the method, Pete Egoscue, calls this "design motion". By working on design motion via the E-cises, the exercises that comprise the method, you can address your chronic musculoskeletal pain. The Egoscue Method has helped many people with their back pain, including elite athletes such as Jack Nicklaus.

Stretching and Exercising While At Work

With so many types of formal exercise programs and methods, it is easy to forget to simply take time out of the day for stretching and strengthening the back and key areas that affect it. If you work at a computer, experts recommend taking a short break every 20 minutes to help counter the effects of the immobility inherent in your job. Even those with more active professions can get into movement ruts, causing possible strength imbalances in muscle groups and decreasing flexibility. The nice thing about a desk exercise program is that you can inject one every so often. A desk exercise program should be done in addition to your comprehensive exercise plan to reduce back pain. It should not supplant it.

The Multifidus Back Pain Solution

The Multifidus Back Pain Solution, by Jim Johnson, P.T. is a book with an exercise program for chronic back pain sufferers. The program is based on evidence that one specific back muscle, the multifidus, plays a role in almost all non-neurological back pain. Because the book is written by a licensed allied health professional, it offers excellent background information as to how and why the program works, as well as how consumers can arm themselves with knowledge about back pain treatments.
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