The Evolution of Strength Training as Medicine in Pain and Disease Management

Think Fitness and Nautilus

August 2017

Arthur Jones, NautilusArthur Jones, Nautilus inventor and father of high-intensity exercise, famously stated in his Nautilus magazine article, The Low Back is the Most Important Area of the Body, “When your lower back is out, then nothing else works very well either.  Most people ignore the lower back until it gives them trouble.” In response, Jones developed the Lower Back machine, stating “It is thus my opinion that our new Lower Back machine is the most important machine we will ever produce.” This spawned the current wisdom, that “a strong back is a healthy back” as well as other research supporting the use of Nautilus strength training in the prevention of injuries, pain and disease management, and rehabilitation.

Mayo ClinicOriginal Nautilus research at the University of Florida Medical School and General Motors Corporation established that improved low back strength equals less low back, hip and neck discomfort. These studies were insightful as they emphasized proper form and slow controlled movement, as the keys to strength gains and pain management. After only ten weeks of Nautilus training, over 66% of low back patients reported either pain free or pain significantly reduced outcomes.

Similar results supported The American College of Sports Medicine’s establishment of strength training injury and pain management protocols. Likewise, a Journal of American Medical Association study of chronic neck pain in women concluded that, “both isometric strength training and dynamic endurance training effectively decreased pain and disability in women with chronic neck pain, however, aerobic and stretching exercises proved to be much less effective than controlled endurance and strength training of the neck muscles.”

APJCPIn addition to pain management, evidence from the prestigious Mayo Clinic and other medical organizations proves that even moderate strength training has a positive effect on breast and prostate cancer treatment. The National Cancer Institute and the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention report that “increasingly, clinical trials are validating the effect of strength training in cancer prevention, treatment and supportive care for breast cancer survivors.”

The US National Institute of Health concludes in its report,” Resistance Training is Medicine: The Effects of Strength Training on Health, based on Arthur Jones strength training principles “ that strength training can result in improved low back pain, cardiovascular health, cognitive abilities, reduced high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, as well as other chronic diseases.”

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