Physical activity best for back pain

August 18, 2006

Mildly aerobic physical activity such as brisk walking or swimming for at least three hours a week was effective treatment for subjects with mild-to-moderate low back pain, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health. By contrast, subjects performing specific back exercises, such as stretching, range-of-motion and strengthening workouts, were more likely to experience continuing pain and disability. Most of the subjects experiencing pain relief engaged in walking. Those with short-term back pain (less than three weeks) and those with chronic problems (three months or longer) showed similar benefits from moderate physical activity. Those who experience back pain are advised to seek counsel from a family physician. For more information, visit http://www.hmc.psu.edu/fcm online.

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Last Updated September 15, 2010