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Getting ‘Back’ in Shape: February 5, 2013

The people in this exercise class aren’t here to slim down or bulk up. Like Teta Roberts, they are all interested in strengthening their back.

“I’m always working on my back- I had had a big time surgery about 5 years ago so I always am intensely working to strengthen and strength the core muscles,” says Teta Roberts.

Roberts underwent a spinal fusion. Others hope to avoid surgery and address back pain naturally.

“It’s a very common problem; most people will experience some amount of back pain at some point in their lifetime. Certainly the statistics vary to 80 to 90 percent,” says Kath Kinross, doctor of physical therapy with Lee Memorial Health System.

Our average, day-to-day activities are mostly to blame; coupled with sedentary lifestyle. People don’t move around as much as they should, so their muscles get lazy and more prone to aches and pains.

Lee Center for Rehabilitation and Wellness is offering the ‘better back class’.  It focuses on good spine health and avoiding neck and back strain.

“We really put an emphasis more on core and body mechanics,” says Kinross.

Participants go through a series of motions that encourage the muscles to stretch and get stronger. The relaxed motions help people energize their body.

“When we exercise, we feel better. Whether it’s because it relieves some natural endorphins that are your body’s natural pain killers or the fact that you feel positive about the fact that you are doing something that you haven’t been able to do for awhile,” says Kinross.

“I’ve done a lot of therapy but I think it’s good to have a class where you stay on top of it,” says Roberts.

Class is not meant for someone with active pain or complex medical problems, but is aimed at people who want to get ‘back’ in shape.