Exercise is the Best Treatment for Lower-Back Pain

Back pain is universal, a common problem that can last from days to years. The market is full of gadgets and treatments, such as ergonomic chairs and back belts, to alleviate pain. In the past few years, the United States has spent around $80 billion on pain treatments, imaging, surgery, medication, and missed work. Researchers who compiled various separate studies from around the world have concluded that exercise reduced the risk of repeated low-back pain by 25 to 40%. Be it core strengthening, aerobic exercise, or stretching, the type of exercise did not matter.

Physicians do not “prescribe” exercise nearly enough, with less than half of patients participating in an exercise program. Passive treatments, like traction, back belts, and orthotic insoles, are much more common. The health industry focuses on what they can sell, and exercise isn’t one of their products. Exercise is not looked at as a treatment the same way a pill or procedure may be. Drugs prescribed for back pain are expensive, and exercise is quite cheap. This is resulting in great costs and preventable back pain. Because the costs are so high, prevention is very important. Smoking cessation also prevents the spinal discs from drying out, which can cause pain as well.

The more you use your back, the stronger and healthier it will be.

Bichell, Rae Ellen. “Forget the Gizmos: Exercise Works Best For Lower-Back Pain.” Your Health. NPR, 12 Jan 2016. Web. 19 Jan 2016.

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