Climbing Therapy for Low Back Pain

by Paula

climbing for back painChronic Low Back Pain has been said to improve after climbing therapy, compared with non-climbing, standard exercise, a new study claims. May 15’s issue of Spine journal, published that Munich, Germany’s Technical University’s Kai Engbert, Ph.D. and Michaela Weber, tested the effects of therapeutic climbing, and they assessed how it compared to other types of exercise for chronic lower back pain sufferers.

Twenty-eight patients were tested over 4 weeks with a therapeutic climbing and standard exercise program. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires before and after the excercise, which assessed their physical and psychological well-being.

The authors state; “This finding demonstrates that therapeutic climbing is equivalent and partly superior to standard exercise therapy for patients with chronic low back pain.”

I know that climbing involves much more intensive toning exercise than regular exercise, and has been proven to improve strength in the upper body, thighs and buttocks; all of which support and take some of the load from the back. I’m certain 4 weeks was more than enough time to confirm these results.

I would not recommended however that beginners to exercise¬† rush out and start climbing to instantly treat their back pain. I’m sure the participants in this study were all at relatively good fitness levels. After all, extremely fit athletes can still suffer from chronic pain.

But once people have built up considerable strength in their core muscles; arms, legs, abs and buttocks,  more intesive toning exercise (such as climbing) is certainly recommended to further increase the rate of improvement.

Photo by Twistermc on Flickr

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