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How can exercise help low back pain?

There is strong evidence supporting the use of exercise for low back pain. This includes acute (short episodes), chronic (long-term) and the presence or absence of sciatica. The benefits of exercise for low back are as follows:

  • Improving range of motion (i.e., the ability to bend forward, backwards, turning your trunk, etc.)
  • Improve specific trunk muscle activation
  • Improve endurance of the low back muscles
  • Improved motor control
  • Increase flexibility and strength in your hips
  • When you exercise, the brain releases natural pain killers that help with pain 

While general exercise helps low back pain, we will add exercises specifically tailored to your individual goals. We will look in close detail at the strength and range of motion/mobility requirements to perform the desired task and give you the best exercises to target your specific needs. Further, we will dose exercises based on the amount of pain you are experiencing and your overall activity tolerance. 


  1. Delitto, A., George, S., Van Dillen, L., Whitman, J., Sowa, G., Shekelle, P., Denninger, T. and Godges, J., 2012. Low Back Pain. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 42(4), pp. A1-A57.

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