According to a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, both exercise alone, and exercise and education may reduce the risk of low back pain.
The authors of the study used 23 published reports to determine these findings.
The authors report that moderate-quality evidence suggests exercise combined with education reduces the risk of an episode of low back pain. Low to very low quality evidence suggests that exercise alone may reduce the risk of both low back pain and the use of sick leave. Other interventions, including education alone, back belts, and shoe inserts do not appear to be associated with the prevention of low back pain.
Evidence suggests that exercise alone reduced the risk for a low back pain episode by 35% and reduced the need for sick leave by 78%. Additionally, exercise combined with education reduced the risk of an episode of low back pain by 45%.
While these findings are merely suggestive, it is just another reason for people of all ages to engage in exercise or moderate physical activity to maintain optimal health and potentially prevent back pain.
The JAMA Network Journals. "Exercise associated with prevention of low back pain."
Click here for a slide show of exercises for lower back pain recommended by Mayo Clinic.
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Angelie Singh, MD, MPH, MS