Body Therapies: Back Exercises #1

By | February 11, 2011

Exercise therapy should be an integral part of the treatment of patients with chronic or recurrent back pain. It is however important to remember what exercise cannot do and that exercise is never the whole treatment. Even patients with excellent general health and conditioning can suffer from attacks of back pain.

As we have said in other sections on exercise, consultation with a trained professional and participation in a structured group will speed progress and increase the chances of long-term success. In addition when treating low back pain, the additional equipment or facilities found in a good health club may be very helpful. Long before you are ready for vigorous exercise the heat of a steam room, sauna or Jacuzzi may be very helpful in relieving muscle spasm, reducing pain and enhancing flexibility.

The first goal of back exercises should be to enhance mobility and resting muscle tone. This is best accomplished with gentle, active stretches augmented when necessary by the judicious use of anti-inflammatory agents. Never try to stretch a cold muscle or to stretch any muscle past the point of mild discomfort. Strength training should start slowly and proceed steadily. This is an area where the regularity of exercise is critical. Long gaps between strength workouts decrease effectiveness and greatly increase the chance of injury.

The following is a partial list of interesting webpages and useful exercises.

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