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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Are there specific exercises for pain management?

    Are there any exercises I should do to alleviate pain in my lower back?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Dr Stephen Leow

    HealthShare Member

    Any exercise or activity has been associated with better outcomes in pain. This works both through a psychological level and a physiological level. The so called runners high is associated with the release of endorphins (the body's natural opioids) and reduces pain.

    In the lower back, sterengthening exercises eg Pilates help stabilise the back and reduce pain

  • 1


    Sandra McFaul


    Do you suffer from chronic lower back pain or neck pain? Based in SYDNEY, Sandra is 1 of ONLY 15 Physiotherapists in Australia with ADVANCED … View Profile

    Lower back pain is very common.  Often it starts in our 20-30's, improves but then it tends to recur.

    Exercise for lower back pain is essential.  The specfic exercises will depend upon your probelm.  a trained McKenzie Method Physiotherapist will be able to assess your problem and give you 1 or 2 key exercises. 

    Typically, a McKenzie therapist will clients around 3-4 times and our goal is always to show you how to stop the pain from coming back.

  • 1


    Neil Synnott

    Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist

    I am qualified as a PHYSIOTHERAPIST and ACCREDITED EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST.I primarily use the McKENZIE METHOD for assessment and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders. The McKENZIE … View Profile

    Hi all,

    Dr Leow and Sandra both make great points regarding exercise for low back pain.

    Dr Leow's comments regarding the psychological and physiological value of exercise is very important. The key is finding the correct exercises! 

    Sandra's comments re consultation with a McKenzie Method trained physiotherapist is also very useful. With the McKenzie Method, your physiotherapist can educate and advise you on the correct exercises for your back pain… Often 1-2 key exercises for your back alleviate the pain. These exercises are relatively simple and can be done anywhere!

    As Sandra alludes to, a key component of the McKenzie Method is educating you on how to prevent the pain from returning… very powerful for the long term management of the pain!

    Credntialled and Diploamed McKenzie physiotherapists are available across Australia… please go to to find one near you!

    All the best, Neil

    Regards, Neil 

  • 4


    Dr Ryan Hislop


    Ryan Hislop is the Clinical Director at the Mudgee Chiropractic Health and Wellness Centre. As an experienced and evidence-based diagnostician, Ryan works largely by medical … View Profile

    It is unfortunate that exercise can be both a treatment and stimulus of pain. The therapeutic window for exercise is very narrow. This means that, while too much exercise increases pain, too little exercise will worsen pain through multiple mechanisms (pain posturing, deconditioned muscle microtrauma, neuroendocrine responses, for example).

    This pathopyhsiology requires specially tailored exercise, as well as movement modification during activities of daily living.

    The goal of an activity and exercise program is to open the therapeutic window just wide enough to improve daily function and fitness without increasing pain levels.

    I have attached a brochure from Myalgia that outlines several stages of progressive exercise that may be worthwhile, however as mentioned above, exercises should be specific for the individual. It is rare that there is a “one size fits all” approach to manual therapies.

  • Leah's mission is quite simply to help others take steps to walk their life journey. We have four primary 'parts' creating our life experiences. The … View Profile

    All of the above a correct.  Pain is the symptom of inflammation, and this also needs to be addressed.  Inflammation can be present anywhere in the body, and hyper sensitise cells elsewhere and the chemcials responsible travel through the blood.

     Pain can also radiate that is present some where else in the body that isn't the actual cause.  

    I am not saying that lower back pain doesn't start with incorrect posture, muscle fatigue from not being strong, or even nerve irritation from all of the above.  I am suggesting however, that pain can present from the internal organs that feed through the lower back region.

    From clinical experience, there are several things that can contribute to lower back pain that isn't back muscle related.

    • Eating foods that irritates their intestines - gut
    • Constipation and the build up of chemicals in the cells/blood in the lower bowel
    • Eating foods loaded with chemicals that the body is struggling to detoxify.
    • Dysymbiosis which is the imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the gut.  
    From a food perspective, it is invaluable to look at your diet - even health foods if they irritate can cause pain.  A dietitian or nutritionist will be able to help you with this. 
    Then it is about limiting, preferrably avoiding these foods and taking nutrients - anti inflammatories to help stop the pain cycle. 
    Keep the bowels moving it vital.  All blood flow from the bowel goes t the liver, and if there is a back log, then the chemical load is higher, sometimes higher than the liver to process.  The result?  More potentially toxic chemicals floating around your body from the gut irritating cells every where else too. 

    My suggestion is to look at your diet, take a good quality probiotic, drink water, consider a broad spectrum mineral salts (from the health food shop), a good quality multi mineral,  consider your bowel habits, exercise level, type and strength.  See trained professionals such as dietitian, physio and get out there and move in a safe way.  Your body will respond and you will feel better for it. 

    To your health. 

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