Jun 17

Lower Back Relief With Exercise

Weight training and improved body strength may help your nagging back. That is what the latest research reports.

That should be good news for my fellow golfers. And to all the week-end warriors who press their bodies into action after 5 days of neglect. If you want a healthy back, you have to move, plain and simple.

At one time when your back hurt you were told to rest and let your sore muscles rest. Later studies showed resting wasn't such a good idea after all and people with sore backs needed to move around and even stretch. Yoga was good for sore backs.

Now a new study from the University of Alberta and presented at the American College of Sports Medicine reports that for best results build up those sore muscles with more weight training and strengthening. (That's assuming there is no back surgery, damaged vertebrae or nerve root problems.)

Apparently, we are more likely to hurt our backs when we're tired. If we increase our overall body strength there is less chance of our muscles getting fatigued. Just strengthening arms or legs or abs doesn't work. The entire body needs to be strong because so much strenuous work is done with the upper body that it's important to have strong chest and back muscles so you don't hunch over.

Unfortunately, most people look to pain relief medications rather than exercise. I have long been of the opinion that exercise for better health is overlooked while drugs are overused, especially those drugs that can become addictive and are narcotic.

By the same token, I'm not advocating that medication is bad and exercise is good. What I am advocating is to take preventive measures for a healthy body by exercising. Then it's a question of what each person needs to recover from an injury or a sore back after a round of golf. The problem is more likely to be resolved using a combination of prescription medication and a personalized exercise program.

Is there something you do when your back goes out? We are open to helpful hints that we can share.

To your healthy aging.

Ruthan Brodsky

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