Now this article by Tara Pope, that I found on the well blogs page of the The New York Times website, I found quite interesting.
I don’t know about the readers of the back pain blog but I always thought that kettlebell workouts were the choice of Eastern European athletes in particular, for muscle building.
It seems that using this ancient piece of equipment could be just the thing for easing back pain, along with neck pain and shoulder pain.
Most people with back pain tend to avoid weight training for fear of aggravating their symptoms. However a Danish study, carried out by Lars L. Anderson and his team, has shown that correctly done, strength training can reduce pain and prevent re-injury.
In the past most research in this field has focused on traditional weight training exercises. The Danish researchers however studied the effects of using kettlebells. So called due to their superficial resemblance to a tea kettle.
Kettlebells require a different technique to the more usual lifting type weight training, which involves the swinging and lifting of the weights. A tricky thing to get the hang of for beginners.
The study recruited 40 middle-aged women who had back, shoulder, and/or neck pain. These volunteers were assigned randomly to a kettlebell workout regime or a control group who were just encouraged to exercise.
The kettlebell group did 20-minute sessions two or three times a week for eight weeks. The result was that those women that used the kettlebells reported less pain as well as improved core muscle strength, compared with the control group. The actual figures showed as a 57 percent reduction in lower back pain, and a 46 percent reduction in neck and shoulder pain.
Pretty impressive I would say. The full report contains much more detail as well as safety issues that need to be considered. I think it’s a most interesting read. You can find it here.
Back Pain Can Be Aggravated by Exercise
Edge on the Net.com contributor Kent McGroarty this week highlights common exercise moves that can in fact be dangerous if not performed correctly.
With people coming to exercise more and more, many, if not most, without proper consultation and training. Backs can be particularly susceptible if certain exercises are not done in the right way. Here are a few of the ones to be careful of if you don’t want to aggravate your back ache.
The good old fashioned sit-up can cause back injury due to the shearing forces placed on the vertebrae and discs, resulting in small disc ruptures.
The leg extension machine is one to avoid as it can cause lower back pain as well as leg and knee problems.
The pec deck and behind the shoulder press should also be given a miss, commonly leading to torn ligaments and rotator cuff tendon injuries.
There are more effective, and less destructive ways of getting a similar workout. Giving the same benefit with a minimal risk of injury. Interestingly kettlebells are mentioned here as well. They do seem to be the in thing at the
I guess it’s common sense really. Exercise is fine if approached in the right way, and certainly in then early stages get someone who knows what they are doing to take you through some exercises suitable for your particular situation.
If you want to take a look at the complete report use this link.