This Is By Far The Best Way To Avoid Lower Back Pain

By: Cari Nierenberg
Published: 01/11/2016 06:35 PM EST on LiveScience

Shoe inserts, back-support belts and other gadgets aimed at preventing low back pain may be a waste of money. Instead, exercise is the best way to ward off this common problem, a new review of studies suggests.

The researchers found evidence that an exercise program alone, or exercise along with education about how to prevent back pain, was effective in averting an episode of low back pain and reducing people’s use of sick time at work. Education may include receiving training in proper lifting techniques, learning about correct posture or attending back school, which is a comprehensive program on back health.

About 80 percent of U.S. adults will experience an episode of low back pain at some point in their lives, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. [Lower Back Pain: Causes, Relief and Treatment]

To evaluate which preventive methods for low back pain are effective in easing its discomfort, the researchers analyzed data from 23 studies with a total of nearly 31,000 participants. The analysis found that exercise alone could reduce a person’s risk of low- back pain by 35 percent, and it could also cut the use of sick time by 78 percent over the course of a year.

People who participated in an exercise program and also received additional educational instruction were 45 percent less likely to have low back pain over the course of one year, compared with people who were not involved in both programs, according to the research, published online today (Jan. 11) in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

This means that the effect of exercise alone or in combination with education is quite large: It cuts a person’s risk of getting low back pain in half, said study author Daniel Steffens, —> Read More