A new study finds exercise helps to prevent back pain and even helps to improve function in people who have it.
The study, led by the Queensland University of Technology, examined the effectiveness of an exercise program designed to help people who had back pain manage symptoms.
The researchers found exercise could improve function and reduce the risk of back pain, even in people with symptoms.
Key points:The study is the first to look at exercise in people suffering from back painWhile the results suggest it could help to prevent the symptoms of back problems, the study is not conclusiveThe study looked at 906 people who were diagnosed with chronic low back pain.
The participants were randomly assigned to either an exercise group that trained in yoga, yoga therapy, yoga, Pilates, Pilate exercise, or a control group that did not.
The group who had exercised in a group setting also got training to improve posture, posture stabilisation, and core strength.
The exercise training was carried out in an environment that included a yoga studio and a group of 20- to 35-year-olds.
Results showed the exercise training improved the function of the muscles in the back.
The findings could help clinicians decide whether exercise is the right intervention for their patients, said the study’s senior author, Professor Simon Cavanagh, a research fellow at the University of Queensland’s School of Medicine.
“It’s very promising because the benefits are cumulative, not just in the first two weeks,” Professor Cavanah said.
“I think the more you do it, the more people benefit.”
The study’s findings have been published in the journal The Lancet.
“The most important thing we can do now is to get the science right and make sure it works for everybody,” Dr Cavanaugh said.
Dr Cavanaughs findings could lead to new therapies for people with chronic back pain but they are not clear yet whether they will work in everyone.
The Mayo Clinic said people with back pain who did not exercise for two weeks would be eligible for a follow-up trial.
“Our goal is to find out whether exercise improves function in patients with chronic lower back pain,” said Dr Jennifer Eichelberger, an associate medical director for the Mayo Clinic’s rehabilitation and physical therapy division.
“We believe exercise could be a key element in reducing the risk for these back pain symptoms, but more research is needed to confirm these findings.”
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