Some doctors are now using machines designed signed to straighten and strengthen the back's extensor muscles-the muscles you use when you bend backward. By using this method, doctors hope to relieve pain and allow patients to avoid back surgery.

Reality: Any exercise that conditions key postural muscles-abdominals, hip flexors and back muscle extensors-can help relieve pain. These machines can help but contribute nothing special.

Best: Carefully prescribed, standardized exercises tailored for your individual back problem.

Want to Keep Reading?

Continue reading with a Health Confidential membership.

Sign up now Already have an account? Sign in