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Exercise and back pain
Old 06-15-2010, 02:35 PM   #1
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Exercise and back pain

For those of you with lower back pain, do you find it helps or hurts to incorporate exercise? I have received conflicting opinions and am just curious of the opinions of those who actually live it.
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:39 PM   #2
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Back strengthening exercises resolved back pain for me.
Slide show: Back exercises in 15 minutes a day - MayoClinic.com
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:54 PM   #3
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Back pain has multiple causes. The right treatment, if any, depends on the cause of the pain.

If you have a slipped disk pushing on a nerve root, exercise may be a bad idea. In other situations, it may be helpful.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:33 PM   #4
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I don't have a slipped disc. I do have degenerative disc disease and mild scoliosis.

Here is what I know:
* Failure to exercise leaves me with muscle pain in the lumbar area of my back
* Walking daily, swimming 3 times a week, and a good dose of stretching or yoga leaves me pain free (also improves range of motion, general muscle strength, and endurance)
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:58 PM   #5
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I had been a runner for the last 35-40 years and had to quit running last year because of back pain. I now do just biking, swimming and light weights and although my back pain isn't gone completely, it's alot better. Based on my experience, I'd say that depending on what kind of back pain you have, you can taylor your exercise.

I did yoga for a couple of years and it helped my back alot. Then about 1-2 years ago, the yoga instructor at my health club was changed and she was probably too advanced for me and that actually caused me more back problems. So if you take yoga, be careful who you choose for the instructor. Also, I believe that are different types of yoga to choose from. For me, the most basic yoga classes with more stretching worked the best. As far as swimming goes, I think it has helped to keep my back more flexible, plus it's great aerobic exercise.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:05 PM   #6
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The right exercise helps me. I can have slight low back pain on occasion, usually aggravated by sleeping funny or walking a lot on concrete. I find stretching exercises, as in yoga or Pilates, help as does stretching on my stability ball. I just got over a bout of pain in my shoulder. My doctor felt it was due to an impingement condition of some sort or another(tendinitis or rotator cuff inflammation). I did 12 weeks of physical therapy twice a week and what a difference! Almost completely better. I continue to do the exercises they showed me almost every day.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
If you have a slipped disk pushing on a nerve root, exercise may be a bad idea. In other situations, it may be helpful.
Heh...this is my problem in my lower back....a rotten disk.

It took a long time to figure out what I should do in the exercise department. If I tried something and it hurt, I stopped....I can't bear that kind of pain.

I found working my upper body with resistance works well. I can work my thighs and calves too, but I have to use less weight and watch my repetition. Sit-ups, push-ups....out of the question.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:52 PM   #8
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When I've had back pain, for me doing exercises that strengten the stomach helped.
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:45 AM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate the advice. I have never been a swimmer or into yoga, but perhaps I should give both a try and see if they help.
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:26 AM   #10
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+1 on yoga & stretching.

I have occasional pain in my lower back and find the postures that twist your spine while you're lying on your back to be very helpful in alleviating the pain in a day or two.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:26 AM   #11
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There was another thread previously about the benefits of using an inversion table to help relieve back pain:

Inversion Table For Lower Back Pain

I bought a cheap inversion table (about $120) from Walmart 4-5 months ago and use it occasionally. I figured I could quickly spend $120 going to a doctor so why not give the inversion table a try first. It seems to help but I have no proof that it's really working or I'm just getting a placebo effect. My only proof that it's working is that I sometimes feel better after using it. Before I bought mine I read lots of reviews on the internet about inversion tables and many people claimed to get some relief using one.
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