Low back pain – What’s the real culprit?

Low back pain – those three little words that make us all cringe. It’s estimated that over 70% of people will experience low back pain in their lifetime. Often, it can be debilitating, preventing us from doing many of the activities we love like walking, swimming, gardening or running.

Several different structures contribute to low back pain including discs, joints, muscles, nerves and ligaments. Pain might be local to the area, more towards the back of the hip or down to the leg. Symptoms might also include feelings of numbness, tingling or weakness.

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Pilates for lower back pain

Lower back pain has become so common these days, that often it is not even diagnosed. The primary cause is poor standing – but more commonly sitting – posture. Prolonged periods spent seated in front of a computer, as well as slouching forward, have become normal. It is also very common to have a dominant side of the body – a side that we naturally use more than the other. This can lead to a strength or tension imbalance between the left or right sides, another big cause of lower back pain.

Pilates may help to correct these sorts of problems.

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Yoga For Chronic Back Pain

The following study was undertaken between 2007-2010 and was designed to assess whether there was any benefit in undertaking Yoga practice for patients with chronic lower back pain.


Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Trial

It has been known for a long time that Yoga can offer an alternative approach to the treatment of low back pain. While many studies have been done in the past, some have been limited by small sample sizes and short-term follow-ups. In contrast, this study took a sample of over 300 patients with chronic low back pain of which half undertook a 3-month yoga course while the others were treated in a “traditional” manner. Patients were then followed-up after 3, 6 and 12 months.

There are still complications in a study such as this that requires participants to attend a regular course of classes such as yoga, but there does seem to be evidence that yoga can assist, particularly over the long term

While back pain results were similar between both the yoga and the “traditional” groups, the yoga group exhibited better back function and general health scores after 3, 6, and 12 months.

So, if you were thinking of incorporating yoga in to your exercise routine, then this study should provide further support for making it happen.