Exercise Helps in Prevention of Back Pain

Back pain is very common among adults and is often caused by muscle strain or injury. Regular exercise therapy, including stretching or strengthening may improve pain and function in individuals suffering low back pain for prolonged durations.1 Regular exercise may not only help decrease low back pain but may also prevent re-injury to the back, help in faster recovery and reduce the risk of disability from back pain. Some sources recommend that these exercises be done under appropriate supervised physical training.

A 2005 Swiss study concerning the long-term effects of exercise therapy in prevention of low back pain has shown that supervised exercise can effectively improve functional ability and reduce low back pain up to a period of one year.2 More recently, another study by Finnish researchers confirmed this long-term benefit of exercise by indicating that home-based exercise programs can reduce low back pain and the beneficial effects can be seen to last over five years.3

Other than reducing the need for physical therapy, doctor referrals and pain medication prescriptions, regular low-to-moderate aerobic exercise appears to improve the mood and work capacity in individuals suffering from low back pain.4 Exercises to reduce low back pain are not complicated and can be done at home without any special equipment. However, these exercises should be performed under appropriate supervised physical training to prevent further complications and to obtain maximum relief.


  1. Hayden JA, van Tulder MW, Tomlinson G. Systematic Review: Strategies for Using Exercise Therapy to Improve Outcomes in Chronic Low Back Pain. Ann Intern Med. 2005; 142(9): 776–785.
  2. Maul I, Läubli T, Oliveri M, Krueger H. Long-term Effects of Supervised Physical Training in Secondary Prevention of Low BackPain. Eur Spine J. 2005; 14(6): 599–611.
  3. Kuukkanen T, Mälkiä E, Kautiainen H, Pohjolainen T. Effectiveness of a Home Exercise Programme in Low Back Pain: A Randomized Five-year Follow-up Study. Physiother Res Int. 2007; 12(4): 213–224.
  4. Sculco AD, Paup DC, Fernhall B, Sculco MJ. Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Low Back Pain Patients in Treatment. Spine J. 2001; 1(2): 95–101.

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