Why Is Exercise So Beneficial For Back Pain?

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: January 7, 2021

Spine Exercise Elliptical

If you’re a regular reader of our blog or have been looking online for answers to your back pain problem, you probably keep coming back to one common treatment recommendation – exercise. It’s very possible that exercise could be exactly what you need to help calm your irritation and let you live a more rewarding life free of back pain, but why is exercise so great? Researchers recently sought out to figure out exactly why exercise is often the preferred treatment recommendation for individuals suffering from chronic low back pain. We explore their findings in today’s blog.

Why Exercise Can Help With Back Pain

To get a better understanding of why exercise can help treat chronic low back pain, researchers reviewed a total of 110 published studies on the topic. They found that there was no one specific reason as to why exercise can help reduce symptoms in patients with back pain, but instead the activity contributed to a collection of factors that helped provide relief. The team identified 33 independent factors and grouped them into five themes that could best describe why exercise is beneficial for back pain. Those five themes, in order of their most common frequency to least common frequency were:

  • Neuromuscular benefits – 44%
  • Psychosocial benefits – 36%
  • Neurophysiological benefits – 9%
  • Cardiometabolic benefits – 6%
  • Tissue Healing – 5%

Interestingly, direct tissue healing was the least common theme as to why exercise can often help with back pain. Moreover, there are non-direct advantages to exercise that can help in the totality of your treatment. For example, exercise can provide neuromuscular benefits like muscle strengthening or increased flexibility that can help your spine safely handle more pressure or have less pain during movement. Exercise can also provide psychosocial benefits in the form of the release of endorphins that act as natural pain relievers.

In all, there is no one reason why exercise can be beneficial for your chronic low back pain, but the activity can provide you with a wide range of smaller benefits that can contribute to your recovery. Another big takeaway from the study is that it’s not all about your physical health, we also need to pay close attention to our mental health. Caring for your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical wellbeing when trying to recover from chronic low back pain, so make sure you take some time for your mental health. If you don’t believe exercise is providing you with the psychological support you need while dealing with back pain, talk to your doctor or find another mental health outlet.

Exercise can be the perfect solution for your back pain, and now we have a better idea as to why it’s an oft-recommended form of treatment. To learn more about exercise as a form of therapy, or to talk with a doctor who can develop a plan tailored to your needs, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and his team today.

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