Tai Chi for Back Aches

Tai chi is an ancient form of martial arts that is soft and slow, making it great for people who have back pain. The Taoist Tai Chi Society‘s Medical Advisers have documented that tai chi helps improve posture, reduce spinal degeneration, maintain flexibility of joints, improve balance, and increase strength and stability in the lower back. Everyone can benefit from tai chi; if you cant do the exercises standing up, you can still do many of them while sitting in a chair.

Unlike yoga, tai chi requires extensive movement, but is less jarring to the joints than aerobic exercise. Its almost impossible to describe how to do a tai chi movement correctly—you really need to see someone else doing it to understand. There are numerous videos you can check out if youre interested, and some video stores offer free exercise video rentals.

Libraries may have videos, too. The best way to learn tai chi, though, is from an instructor, and classes tend to be relatively inexpensive. Take a class or two just to learn the movements and youll be able to practice at home on your own.