For people suffering from lower back pain, using weights can be more effective in easing the chronic pain than other forms of exercise like aerobics, says a new study.
The research team from University of Alberta and University of Regina has found that chronic back pain sufferers are better off using weight training.
The findings revealed that people with chronic backache who took part in a 16-week exercise program of resistance training using dumbbells, barbells and other load-bearing exercise equipment showed 60 per cent improvement in pain.
On the other hand, people who chose aerobic training such as jogging, walking on a treadmill or using an elliptical machine to ease their back pain only showed only 12 per cent improvement
"Any activity that makes you feel better is something you should pursue, but the research indicates that we get better pain management results from resistance training," said Robert Kell, an assistant professor of exercise physiology at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus.
The extra benefits stem from using the whole-body approach required in resistance training, Kell believes.
"We tried to strengthen the entire body and by doing that, we decreased the fatigue people felt throughout the day. They were better able to perform their activities of daily living." Aerobics training generally works just the lower body," he added.
The study showed also showed that both types of training did provide other fitness benefits, such as lower body fat,
The findings are to be published in early 2009 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.