In today’s blog, Longevity Exercise Physiology DrummoyneEdgecliff, Marrickville, Bella Vista, Randwick, Pymble, Neutral Bay and Balmain discuss what the research says about exercise and low back pain!

Impact of back pain

Back pain can be attributed to a complication with our bones, joints, connective tissue, muscle, and nerves of the back. This pain can often also persist after any of these tissues have fully healed. Back pain is the leading cause of disability and lost productivity globally for the past 30 years (Hayden, Ellis, Ogilvie, Malmivaara & van Tulder, 2021). In 2015-16, back pain costed the Australian Healthcare system $2.8 billion, equating to 2.4% of total health expenditure.

What the research says

A recent Cochrane Review compared the impact of exercise treatment on pain and function in adults with chronic non-specific low back pain versus no treatment, usual care, placebo, and other conservative treatments, it found that:

  • Exercise reduces pain compared to no treatment, usual care, or placebo in people with long-lasting (chronic) low back pain.
  • Exercise may reduce pain and improve disability
  • There is insufficient evidence to make recommendations on specific exercise types. This means when determining the right exercise, we take into consideration factors such as client preference, suitability, access, and interests.

However, a recent comparison between general exercise and posterior chain resistance training (PCRT) exercise focusing on thoracic, lumbar, and hip extensor muscles, found that PCRT is more effective at reducing level of disability and improving muscular strength in those with chronic low back pain (Tataryn, Simas, Catterall, Furness & Keogh, 2021).

What should I do for exercise?

In those who are active and sedentary, the bottom line is to begin general exercise. This entails general aerobic and resistance training. This should not only improve lower back pain but also will result in other additional health benefits.

All our Exercise Physiologists are professionals are prescribing exercise according to your goals and health conditions. If you or someone you know has low back pain, we want to help. With 2022 just around the corner, let’s set goals together, get consistent with our training and tackle 2022 healthier than ever!

If you have any questions or would like to book in, please call 1300 964 002 for a free 15-minute consultation.

Written by Guy Beynon 


Hayden, J., Ellis, J., Ogilvie, R., Malmivaara, A., & van Tulder, M. (2021). Exercise therapy for chronic low back pain. Cochrane Database Of Systematic Reviews2021(10). doi: 10.1002/14651858.cd009790.pub2

Tataryn, N., Simas, V., Catterall, T., Furness, J., & Keogh, J. (2021). Posterior-Chain Resistance Training Compared to General Exercise and Walking Programmes for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain in the General Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine – Open7(1). doi: 10.1186/s40798-021-00306-w