About 80% of Americans have had back pain at some point in their lives. In the past, many of them have been told that unless it is a definite, treatable injury, there is only one way to treat back pain: rest. But today's research tells us that the opposite is true.
A spokesman of the American Physical Therapy Association, Eric Robertson who is associate professor of clinical physical therapy at the University of Utah and the University of Southern California, notes: “the advice of taking a good rest and not making your back too tense contradicts the best practices we know today.” One of the main problems with physical therapists and doctors is that we don't know the cause of pain. Robertson says any muscle pain may be caused by too tight or stiff muscle, and it also probably results from the weak strength or the wrong direction of motion. He says it's like a car, and if there's a weakness, the other parts will wear out more badly—— that's why you feel the pain.
Strengthening the core and back muscles can effectively help treat and prevent back pain. The good news is that you don't have to do a lot of strength training to ensure the effect. The more you exercise, the less likely you are to experience pain.
“Spending more time standing every day or walking if possible, and stretching your hips, hamstring and hip flexors regularly are also positive ways to prevent these problems,” says Lauren Shroyer of the American Council on Exercise. Robertson agrees with him. He says walking is one of the best forms of exercise to relieve back pain because it’s a piece of cake, not an energy-consuming sport, and more exercise can also help. Back pain is the result of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, so it doesn't need to take much exercise to strengthen the core and back muscles to ease the pain.
But strength training may be more helpful. Research shows that even low-level strength training can mitigate back pain. Back problems are usually caused by weaknesses in other body parts, such as the gluteus and adductor muscles which are both located in the buttocks and legs. Trainings such as squats, leg press, or any kind of one-legged training can strengthen these muscles and help relieve back pain.
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