To Your Health
September, 2010 (Vol. 04, Issue 09)
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Begin an exercise program to increase strength and endurance. Most of my patients will chronic low back pain tell me they have done exercises, but they haven't worked. I then see what they've done and realize it isn't enough.

To someone with chronic low back pain, it appears to be more than enough simply because any more will cause pain! However, you need to see yourself not as a crippled patient, but as an athlete coming back from injury. We are always mesmerized by how fast some athletes get back from surgery or get back from their injuries. That's because they push themselves through appropriate exercises.

The body has a wonderful ability to get stronger when exercise stresses are placed on it. The body can bend, but usually doesn't break. That's why an effective exercise program should not be based on simple stretches alone. Exercises need to progress to strengthening and endurance exercises. Endurance is how long your back (or any area of the body) can sustain an activity before it gets tired and unable to function. Therefore, endurance exercises are the key to gradually work your back into shape. It's also important to exercise your whole body, not just your back. Having strong legs will help you get up easier. Having a strong upper back and arms will allow you to carry things easier.

Remember, one of the best predictors of low back pain becoming chronic is pain avoidance behavior. By committing yourself to a life of avoiding things that give you pain, you are going to go into that vicious cycle of pain and disability. That's why following your health professional's advice on the right exercises is crucial to ensuring you get your life back instead of losing it to back pain.

As you can tell, the back is a complex structure and back pain can be just as complex, but at the same time, there are straightforward ways to reduce your risk of experiencing acute or chronic episodes. Talk to your doctor for more information.

money - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

90% of people with low back pain will recover in four to six weeks.

10% of people develop chronic low back pain, an epidemic that costs society up to $100 billion a year.

spine - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

Spinal manipulation is one of the only treatments consistently recommended for dealing with acute low back pain.

Far too many people don't visit a chiropractor for their pain and instead choose to pop over-the-counter pain medication at alarming rates.

exercise bike - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

While bed rest may seem like the rational thing to do when in pain, evidence suggests proper exercises to increase mobility and reduce loss of muscle strength are key to recovery.

One of the biggest predictors of chronic back pain is called "pain avoidance behavior," which means once you get the pain, you do everything you can to avoid anything that will cause pain.

Jasper Sidhu, DC, graduated from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1994 and opened the Downtown Injury Rehab Centre in Windsor, Ontario, incorporating vibration training into the rehabilitation part of his practice. He is vice president of clinical services for WAVE Manufacturing (