Aerobic exercise helps to condition and strengthen the muscles and keep the spinal structures healthy.
In addition, aerobic exercise increases the body's release of endorphins, a natural pain blocker, which also help reduce anxiety, stress and depression - all of which are common for people suffering from ongoing back pain. Examples of effective, low impact aerobic activities include:
Riding an exercise bike. Exercise bikes can be used at the fitness center or at home, or a regular bike can be fitted with an inexpensive device (a "trainer") and be used in a stationary position. The bike works for different back problems and different comfort levels, as the seat and handlebars can be adjusted to ensure correct posture.
Exercising in the water. Water therapy, as well as swimming, provides a gentle form of conditioning as the water alleviates gravity and provides buoyancy as well as mild resistance.
Exercise walking. Walking improves blood flow, which brings important nutrients to structures in the back, and provides a number of additional benefits. Continuous walking at a sustained pace for a minimum of twenty to thirty minutes is required to provide aerobic conditioning. Learn more in Exercise walking for better back health.