Back Pain Relief

Published: January 5 2012


Have you ever felt a sharp stabbing pain or experienced aching or stiffness in your lower back? Lower back pain affects four out of five Americans and has become one of the most frequent causes of medical visits and lost-duty time for soldiers.

Most soldiers exercise to help prevent lower back pain that can sideline them from active duty. Now a new study from the University of Florida says exercise alone isn’t the best way to prevent lower back pain in soldiers. Researchers say core strengthening exercises or traditional sit-ups, when combined with a brief educational session on back pain strategies, lowered the number of soldiers seeking treatment for lower back pain.

Dr. Steven George/Physical Therapist: “The education component did have a small preventive effect. It reduced the back pain incidence by about 3% and that was surprising, but a good result, because it did indicate that maybe we can limit some of the disability of back pain.”

The soldiers educational sessions offered positive coping strategies and factual information about the threat and fear of lower back pain. Researchers say this study shows that educating people about lower back pain and letting them know the consequences can result in changes in health care behaviors.

Dr. Steven George/Physical Therapist: “This data and data from other studies suggest that doing some activities is better than doing no activity. We don’t see a lot of evidence that specific exercise approaches are definitely better for reducing back pain.”

People suffering from lower back pain spend over 50 billion dollars each year on treatments for the condition.