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Back-strengthening exercises for people with chronic lower-back pain often don’t work for the people who need them most. But researchers at Brigham Young University have re-designed them so that they’re easier to use – and thus, more effective.
Four of out five Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives – and 26 million Americans experience back pain frequently. Adults with chronic low-back pain are three times more likely to be in poor health overall than people who don’t have low -back pain. Some of the best treatments for chronic low-back pain just don’t work for many people with these conditions.
“People who are overweight, elderly, or who have other problems in addition to their low-back pain often can’t do many of the exercises recommended to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles to relieve low-back pain,” says Wayne Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercises Sciences at Brigham Young University. “Some of the same exercises used to strengthen those muscles are also used to assess the cause of back pain, so sometimes it’s difficult to diagnose people properly who can’t do them.” Next: Why Chairs Are Better