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The Benefits of Exercise for a Painful Back

By Debra Rodzinak

According to, there are many beneficial types of exercises for patients who are undergoing chiropractic care for lower back pain.  By strengthening the muscles in and around the lower back, patients seem to find more relief and better results when undergoing nonsurgical treatments for back pain. 

Types of Exercises

Depending on the way the pain presents when bending, a chiropractic patient falls into two different categories – flexion and extension.

Flexion biased pain happens when a patient finds the most relief when bending over. Exercises that promote low back flexion are found helpful. Some examples of these types of exercises include:

  • Pulling the knees up to the chest
  • Posterior pelvic tilts
  • Bending forward while sitting

Extension biased pain occurs with less tell-tale signs, but pain may present in the leg. Exercises that stretch the front of the thigh and pelvic muscles are found helpful for this type of pain. If you perform yoga, the upward dog position is an extension-based exercise.

Other Exercises

Exercises that can also help to reduce pain in the lower back include:

  • Balancing exercises
  • Exercises that stretch and strengthen “short” muscles in the posterior, hamstring area, and adductors
  • Core exercises that strengthen the trunk muscles and help stabilize the pelvis

Success of Exercise in Chiropractic

As reported in the Scientific Commission of the Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters (CCGPP):

  • Evidence shows that exercise is just as effective for improving chronic lower back pain as other nonsurgical treatments
  • In certain occupations, the use of a graded-activity exercise program shows improvement of lower back pain

Before beginning any exercise program, check with your doctor. Then, come by The Joint for a spinal evaluation, consultation, and treatment. The range of motion in the spine shows if certain exercises are beneficial in treating lower back pain.   

Don’t Just Sit Around

It can be tempting to just sit around or lay on the couch when back pain is present. Don’t fall to this temptation!  Although a short-term recommendation, after a day or two of no activity, the benefits of no activity can actually undermine the healing process. Instead, find back exercises that are suitable for your back pain. It may be uncomfortable at first, but with persistence, exercises pertaining to the lower back can actually alleviate back pain and rehabilitate the spine.

Come by The Joint to ensure that your spine is in proper alignment before you begin any exercise regime. With extended weekday and weekend hours, The Joint makes it convenient for anyone’s busy schedule. Come by The Joint today and get back on the road to recovery with chiropractic and exercise.

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