About 80 percent of North Americans report they experience lower back pain, and about 85 percent of those report their pain is chronic. Whether you suffer from occasional or daily back pain, a study conducted at the University of Alberta found that resistance training improved participants' symptoms by about 60 percent in just 16 weeks.
To help ease lower back pain and increase the flexibility of your hip joints, try this hip flexion exercise:
- While sitting in a chair, wrap a resistance band around the lower thigh of your left leg.
- Step on the ends of the band with your right foot to keep it in place.
- With your knee still bent, slowly lift your left foot off the ground.
- Lift your foot as high as possible, and then hold it.
- Lower your foot and repeat with the right leg.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Growing Stronger -- Strength Training for Older Adults." Feb. 24, 2011. (May 16, 2011)http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/growingstronger/index.html
- Chodzko-Zajko, Wojtek J. et al. "Position Stand: Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults." American College of Sports Medicine. 2009. (May 16, 2011)http://www.informz.net/acsm/data/images/exerciseandpaforolderadults.pdf
- Go4Life, National Institute on Aging at NIH. "Try These Exercises." (May 16, 2011)http://go4life.niapublications.org/try-these-exercises
- Kotz, Deborah. "Senior Citizens Need to Work Out, Too." U.S. News & World Report. Oct. 30, 2007. (May 16, 2011)http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2007/10/30/senior-citizens-need-to-work-out-too
- O'Neill, Jim. "Exercise Can Help Relieve Lower Back Pain." HealthGuidance. (May 16, 2011)http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/3568/1/Exercise-Can-Help-Relieve-Lower-Back-Pain.html
- Sports Injury Clinic. "Resistance Band Exercises." (May 16, 2011)http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/strengthening/resistancebands.php
- Thera-Band. "Resistance Band & Tubing Instruction Manual: Volume 4." 2006. (May 16, 2011)http://www.thera-band.com/UserFiles/File/Resistance_Band-Tubing_Instruction_Manual.pdf
- University of Alberta. "Use Weights, Not Aerobics, To Ease Back Pain, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. Dec. 18, 2008. (May 16, 2011)http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211141848.htm
- University of British Columbia. "Strength Training for Seniors Provides Cognitive Function, Economic Benefits." ScienceDaily. Dec. 14, 2010. (May 16, 2011)http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101213163810.htm
- Westcott, Wayne L. "Strength Training for Seniors." YMCA Greater St. Paul/Metropolitan Minneapolis. (May 16, 2011)http://www.ymcatwincities.org/assets/pdfs/aboutymcapdfs/str_tr_for_seniors.pdf
- Wilbert, Caroline. "Strength Training Is Good for Seniors." WebMD. July 8, 2009. (May 16, 2011)http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20090708/strength-training-is-good-for-seniors
HowStuffWorks looks at a study showing just one hour of vigorous activity a week can keep seniors mobile and active.