Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Substituting Activity For Sedentary Behavior Reduces Risk Of Low Back Pain

May 13, 2024

Low back pain is one of the most common reasons patients seek care from their primary care physician or Physical Therapist.  In our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy clinics we specialize in the treatment of the condition.  Consistent with the most recent medical research we treat this condition with manual therapy, including spinal manipulation, and exercise.  We have found this treatment approach accelerates a patient’s recovery and reduces their risk of symptom recurrence.  Prior research on low back pain has shown stronger, more active individuals are less likely to have an initial onset or return of symptoms.  A recent study reports on how important activity compared to sedentary behavior.

Zhang and colleagues conducted a cohort study on the associations between activity and the development of low back pain (JOSPT. 2024).  Authors conducted their prospective study on over 365,000 participants for an average follow up of 13 years.  As expected they reported higher levels of physical activity were associated with lower risk of low back pain.  With the lowest risk found among exercise participants who performed 1800-2400 MET minutes/week of activity.  In addition, authors found replacing 1 hour per day of sedentary behaviors with an hour of activity reduced low back pain risk by up to 8%.

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