Low Back Pain And Exercise - Prescribe Exercise

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

Yes It Is Common

Low back pain is very common. So common, that most (80%) Australian adults will experience at least one episode of low back pain during their lifetime (1).

The old school way of managing back pain was to rest, avoid activity and in cases full bed rest was prescribed by front line health professionals. Recent research indicates that excessive activity restrictions are in fact the opposite of what a painful back needs most. When outcomes from patients treated with bed rest are compared with those of patients who continued with work/activity despite pain, faster recoveries occurred for the activity group (2).

What Exercise Is Best For Back Pain?

When engaging in exercise and activity during back pain, it can be difficult to know what exercise is best. As always, individual circumstances and situations need to be considered, but here is what some of the research is saying.

American College of Sports Medicine suggest that although there is no single exercise program that fits all people with LBP, cardiovascular training, resistance training, and basic core back exercise are the primary components and should be performed on a regular basis with careful attention to proper movement technique.

A study by A. Searle et al in 2015 (3) investigated which exercise interventions are most effective at reducing pain in adults with chronic low back pain, compared to other non-exercise treatments.

Thirty-nine trails, clinical guidelines and review articles were systematically reviewed and separated into 4 groups based on the type of exercise they participated in. The groups were:

1. Coordination/stabilisation

2. Strength/resistance

3. Cardiorespiratory and

4. Combined trials

So What Should I Do For Back Pain?

1. The above findings show that there is lower chronic low back pain with intervention groups using an exercise intervention compared to other non-exercise treatments (3)

2. Strength/resistance and coordination/ stabilisation interventions had the greatest effect in reducing pain associated with chronic low back pain (3).

Searle and colleagues went on to suggest these findings may be combined with other current recommendations, such as advice to undertake a supervised, structured group program, to better assist clinicians when advising exercise interventions (3).

As exercise physiologists when managing lower back pain, it is important to be aware of the individual and their circumstances combined with using the current evidence to provide the most appropriate treatment plan.

(1) Exercise is Medicine Australia 2014

(2) American College of Sports Medicine 2013

(3) A. Searle et al. 2015

Interested In Making A Booking?

Prescribe Exercise are your local Exercise Physiology specialists. We provide exercise rehabilitation from our purpose built Exercise Physiology Clinic. Our clinic has been designed solely for the improvement of your health, wellbeing and injury rehabilitation. We will assist you to achieve excellence through education and empowerment while providing you with the highest quality care and exercise best practice available. We genuinely care for our clients and want to make a difference in your life so you can get better and regain control of your health once again.


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Tel. (02) 4259 0384

126 Church St, Wollongong, NSW, 2500

Post Created By Josh - Accredited Exercise Physiologist.

Prescribe Exercise are your local exercise physiology specialists. We provide exercise rehabilitation to assist manage and prevent injury and chronic disease in the Wollongong and Illawarra area.

Our programs will assist to achieve personal excellence, we do this by taking the time to educate and empower you with the highest quality care and exercise best practice available. We genuinely care for our clients and want to make a difference in your life, we will help you to get better and stay better so that you can regain control of your health once again.

Want to book in for Exercise Physiology Wollongong, head on over to our online bookings CLICK HERE

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