Exercises to Reduce Back Pain

Best indications to mitigate back pain

More than 80% of the population experience back pain at least one time in their lives. One of a most common causes of back pain is a sedentary lifestyle. People who work being seated for ten hours per day (e.g. office workers, cashiers, lorry drivers), constrain their vertebral column to a prolonged static and often curved position, which is can be damaging. This can generate pain, stiffness and limited movements of the back, which can compromise quality of life.

Preventative measures are crucial to avoid back pain.

Ergonomic Tools

people in the office working and actively sitting on their fitness ballsFirstly, you have to keep in mind that the posture that you maintain during the day is very determining. When you are at work, it is important to use ergonomic tools with personalized measurements, and to sit correctly, adjusting the chair so that the lower back is sustained properly. Then, you should avoid being seated for more than an hour consecutively. With this considered we recommend that after 50 minutes of a sitting position you should stand up, move and some simple stretching exercises in order to move your joints and improve vertebral health.


Strength, flexibility and aerobic

Young couple getting regular outdoor exercise in the cityMoreover, it is proven that executing regular physical activity at rather low to moderate levels is effective in reducing chronic neck and back pain. Therefore, you should take some time to practice  appropriate exercises. Strengthening the specific muscles that support the spine is very important to relieve back pain. Particular attention has to be addressed to training the abdominal, deep and core muscles. Thus, if you have an adequate muscular apparatus sustaining the column and an efficient core stability, your back has greater protection and strength. Guidelines suggest that people should perform 10-15 repetitions/day for every exercise, for at least 2 days per week. Each workout should also include stretching exercises, with the aim to improve back mobility and to enhance flexibility in the hip and hamstrings. In fact, according to some studies, stretching is important because muscle stiffness can restrict the ability of the back to move, rotate, and bend. The subjects should focus on stretching each muscle group for 2 minutes, in order to obtain the effect. Literature indicates that aerobic exercise is also important to ease low back pain. In fact, low impact exercises like swimming, cycling or walking appear to be useful to decrease pain intensity. The ideal solution would be to perform the aerobic training 3 to 5 days/week, allowing vascular and muscular adaptations.

Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi

two women doing tai chi yoga and pilates classes on the beach on a sunny day In addition to the traditional workout, largely diffused activities such as Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi seem to be indicated for back pain sufferers. These exercises can be helpful to prevent recurrences of low back pain because they are based on low-impact physical movements and on a careful body perception.

In conclusion, physical activity is strongly recommended in case of back pain and its benefits can sometimes reduce the need for painkillers. The advice is to perform a complete workout, including resistance, flexibility and aerobic exercise, paying attention to the correct and slow execution of the exercises, this is due to the fact that improper execution can result in greater pain instead of support.


• Sitthipornvorakul E1, Janwantanakul P, Purepong N, Pensri P, van der Beek AJ. The association between physical activity and neck and low back pain: a systematic review. Eur Spine J. 2011 May;20(5):677-89. doi: 10.1007/s00586-010-1630-4. Epub 2010 Nov 27.
• Smith D1, Bissell G, Bruce-Low S, Wakefield C. The effect of lumbar extension training with and without pelvic stabilization on lumbar strength and low back pain. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2011;24(4):241-9. doi: 10.3233/BMR-2011-0301.
• Meng XG1, Yue SW. Efficacy of aerobic exercise for treatment of chronic low back pain: a meta-analysis. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 May;94(5):358-65. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000188.

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