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Exercise is Best for Back Pain

An estimated 75 to 85 percent of Americans will experience some form of back pain during their lifetime. It is one of the most common reasons people miss work and the most common cause of a job-related disability.

According to Dr. Craig Morton, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist with Center for Orthopaedics, low back pain is the most frequent reason patients see him. "Not surprisingly, those with back problems fear exercise will lead to greater damage and more pain, so they avoid it. But numerous studies have found that exercise is actually one of the most effective interventions and preventive measures for low back pain.”

In one recent study, for example, researchers studying airline workers who were unable to work because of lower back pain found a structured program of exercises, with gradually increasing exertion levels, got them back on the job faster than simply laying in bed did.

In addition, Dr. Morton says a person in good physical shape is much less likely than the average person to injure their back during work or daily activities.

Unfortunately, there were very few resources available to guide people to the right type of exercise to address this dilemma. That is why Dr. Morton and personal trainer and fitness specialist Carl Comeaux, MS, CI-CPT, have worked together over the past two years to develop RehabZone, an exercise program designed specifically to address the needs of people who suffer from low back pain.

"Our goal was to create a program that would be easy for anyone to follow and stick to,” says Dr. Morton. We tested the pilot program with a group of my own back pain patients, and incorporated their feedback and results into the final product.”

He explains that the RehabZone exercises are gentle and progressive movements focused on stretching, stabilizing and strengthening the core muscles, which support and stabilize the spine. The workouts are done in the comfort of your own home, and no special equipment is required.

The 3-DVD RehabZone program features 12 progressive workouts specifically designed to create a stronger, healthier back and core. It addresses the three major components of an effective physical fitness program: flexibility, stability and strength. The program is divided into three phases, each with four workouts that gradually increase in difficulty. Participants progress through phases at their own pace – there is no set schedule. "Upon completion of all three phases, you should reach a level of core strength that will not only help reduce back pain, but also help prevent injury, which is the ultimate goal,” says Dr. Morton.

The RehabZone DVD set and instruction manual is available for purchase at the Lake Charles office of Center for Orthopaedics and online at, along with additional information about the program.

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