Category Archives: Low Back Pain

Exercises For Low Back Pain

Flexibility and strengthening exercises help to reduce the pain and disability of chronic nonspecific low back pain.  Hoping to find a simple straightforward program to suggest to you, I reviewed “Exercise-based therapy for low back pain” at

Unfortunately, I didn’t find much.

By the way, exercises don’t help with acute low back pain (under 4 weeks duration).

You need to work with your personal physician for a diagnosis and treatment plan.  I’m not your doctor.  He may well refer you to a physical therapist, which is a good idea.

Some factoids from UpToDate:

  • low back pain is the most common musculoskeletal disorder worldwide
  • 85% of us experience low back pain at some point
  • in the U.S., yearly total cost of low back pain exceeds $100 billion

Here’s a quote that may shock you:

For most patients with low back pain, a specific etiology [cause] cannot be established with certainty.

I bet your doctor, chiropractor, or massage therapist never told you that.

The UpToDate folks suggest a combination of core strengthening (especially abdominal and trunk extension), directional preference (e.g., McKenzie method), general physical fitness, flexion and extension movements, aerobics, and functional restoration programs.  Some studies found benefit with Alexander technique, yoga, Pilates, and tai chi.

They didn’t mention Dr. John Sarno (“Your pain is from repressed anger”) or the Five Tibetan Rituals.

I hate to leave you empty-handed, so take this:

Again, if low back pain is a significant issue for you, it’s a good idea to work with a physical therapist.

What’s worked for you?

Steve Parker, M.D.

Five Tibetan Rituals for Relief of Back Pain

A position you’ll see in the video

I was browsing at author Jerry Pournelle’s blog recently and noticed his 2006 reference to five Tibetan rituals (sometimes called rites) that relieved his back pain.  I assume the author has garden-variety run-of-the-mill low back pain like most middle-aged folks.

I’m not recommending or endorsing these.  I may try them someday myself.  They just look like flexibility and strengthening exercises to me.

If interested, here’s a how-to article at  Here’s a video demonstration (ignore the top video of Dr. Oz; view the next one down).

Ignore any references you see to Ayurvedic medicine and chakras.

Don’t worry, I’m not going woo on you.

Please share if  you’ve had experience—good or bad—with these.