PROCEDURES

 

Exercise

Although the first line of defense in treating back pain is often rest, after a few days, most forms of back pain improve rapidly through a physician recommended exercise regimen.

When done in a controlled, gradual, and progressive manner, active back exercises distribute nutrients into the disc space and soft tissues in the back to keep the discs, muscles, ligaments and joints healthy. Consequently, a regular routine of lower back exercises helps patients avoid stiffness and weakness, minimize recurrences of lower back pain, and reduce the severity and duration of possible future episodes of low back pain.

Beyond pain reduction, active forms of back exercises, including stretching, strengthening and lengthening techniques, are almost always necessary to rehabilitate the spine in response to other treatments.

Depending upon the patient’s specific diagnosis and level of pain, the back pain exercises and rehabilitation programs will be very different, so it is important for patients to see a spine specialist trained to develop an individualized program of back exercises and to provide instruction on using the correct form and technique.

  • Exercise should be prescribed by a spine specialist
  • A balanced approach is best
  • Effective regimens target the back, but incorporate the entire body
  • Commonly used exercises are McKenzie exercises and dynamic lumbar stabilization
  • Every routine should include stretching, strengthening and low-impact aerobic exercise

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