Chronic Pain : Get Moving to Ease Back Pain

Is your back bothering you? Research shows that moving can be the best medicine. Here, Prevention reveals three ways to send pain packing.

1: Stretching: A recent study found that stretching is just as effective as yoga at reducing back pain. Stretching of any kind, whether static (you hold the pose) or dynamic (you move through a complete range of motion), can help improve flexibility and decrease back-pain risk and symptoms.

2: Yoga: Two recently published studies found that people who practiced yoga had less pain and more mobility than those who simply followed a self-care book on back-pain relief. Yoga combines stretching with strength and balance poses, which help shore up weak muscles and release tight ones. It's also a stress reliever; tension can lead to a tight back.

3: Pilates: A small Canadian study found that patients with nonspecific lower-back pain who did a Pilates workout for 4 1/2 hours a week reported significantly less pain and disability one year after starting the program than those who simply followed a doctor's care. Pilates strengthens the core muscles that support the spine, decreasing your risk of injury. It also boosts flexibility, making it easier to move without pain.

For more information, please visit or pick up a copy of the magazine on news stands now.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

© 2012 Mclatchy-Tribune News Service.. All Rights Reserved