After six months of daily back pain I got better by getting out and exercising. A friend of mine did the same thing but her doctor advised her to join a group. Does it really matter if exercise is done alone or in a group?

It might make a difference for some people. For example the link between back pain and depression is well known. Long-term benefits of exercise have also been shown both physically and psychologically.

A group exercise class may help depressed patients feel a sense of belonging. This kind of social support may be what helps some people the most.

Jennifer A. Klaber Moffett, MSc, PhD, MCSP, et al. High Fear-Avoiders of Physical Activity Benefit from an Exercise Program for Patients with Back Pain. In Spine. June 1, 2004. Vol. 29. No. 11. Pp. 1167-1173.

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