A new study has found that people who regularly engage in physical exercise and who do so on a regular basis are at significantly higher risk of developing chronic lower back pain.
Researchers from the University of Western Australia, University of Sydney, and the University College London and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University at Albany in New York found that those who regularly engaged in physical activity and who exercised regularly on a daily basis were nearly 50 per cent less likely to develop chronic lower-back pain compared with those who exercised less frequently and on a weekly basis.
Dr Robert M. Schiavo, who led the study, said it was important to understand the role of physical activity in chronic pain.
“People with chronic lower spine pain can often feel they can’t walk and have difficulty standing up, or that they have back pain,” he said.
“[The] fact that they’re doing this on a very regular basis really highlights how important it is to get regular physical activity, and if you’re not doing it, to look into it.”
Dr Schiavelo said the study was based on a population of more than 15,000 people in Australia.
He said people who participated in the study were more likely to be middle-aged, Caucasian, male, healthy and in good health.
Dr Schiaso said physical activity could be as simple as a walk in the park or as complex as running, cycling or running on the treadmill.
”People with low back pain are often very active, they tend to walk a lot and exercise a lot, and they’re not always in a healthy state, and these people are at an increased risk of chronic pain,” Dr Schiasos said.”
So, we need to look at these different aspects of exercise and find out what is the best form of exercise for people who are suffering from chronic pain.
“The study involved identifying individuals who were currently at risk of low back and lower-leg pain and then using computer modelling to predict if they would benefit from a particular form of physical exercise.
Results revealed that those with chronic low back, or chronic lower leg pain, were more than twice as likely to have low back or lower-limb pain if they exercised regularly compared with people who did not engage in any type of physical behaviour.
People who had moderate or severe chronic lower and lower leg pains were also more than three times as likely than people who had no pain to have high levels of pain if physical activity was a major part of their daily activity schedule.
It also revealed that people with chronic pain who engaged in a variety of physical activities such as cycling, swimming, walking or running were more at risk for chronic lower or lower leg symptoms compared with non-participants.
Dr M.J. van Leeuwen, who carried out the research while at the Centre for the Study of Sport and Exercise at the Medical Research Council of Australia, said the results showed the importance of physical training.”
It’s good for the brain, it’s good to improve muscle function, it is good for your heart, it improves your cardiovascular health, and it may even improve your overall health and well-being,” he told ABC News Breakfast.
The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
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