Weights not aerobics help ease backache

December 12th, 2008 - 3:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Dec 12 (IANS) People who rely on weights to ease lower backache fare much better than those who choose to jog, according to new research.The study showed a 60 percent improvement for people with chronic backache who took part in a 16-week exercise programme using dumb bells, barbells etc.

Conversely, people who do aerobics like jogging, walking on a treadmill or used an elliptical machine to ease backache only experienced a 12 percent relief, said Robert Kell, assistant professor of exercise physiology at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus.

The resistance-training group showed improvements in pain and function of about 60 percent, while those who took aerobic training experienced only a 12 per cent improvement.

“Any activity that makes you feel better is something you should pursue, but the research indicates that we get better pain management results from resistance training.”

The extra benefits stem from using the whole-body approach required in resistance training, Kell believes.

“We tried to strengthen the entire body and by doing that, we decreased the fatigue people felt throughout the day. They were better able to perform their activities of daily living,” he said.

Aerobics training generally works just the lower body, he added.

Approximately 80 percent of North Americans suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lifetimes, and for 85 percent of them the pain is chronic.

Both types of training did provide other fitness benefits, such as lower body fat, the study showed, said an Alberta release.

The findings are scheduled for publication in early 2009 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

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