If you are living with chronic back pain, you may have some questions regarding regular activities and how to manage the two together. One such activity is exercising with back pain. Though there may be a natural inclination to avoid exercise, especially if it exacerbates pain, there are actually certain suggestions that can help you to maintain an active lifestyle without suffering through pain.
Should I stay less active with back pain?
Back pain can be aggravating and a real nuisance. Depending on the intensity of the pain, it can hinder your ability to perform various tasks throughout the day. If your typical routine includes exercising, there is no need to deter from it. Some people may think little to no activity may be the normal response to back pain. Staying in bed or sitting down all day can make your back more sensitive and irritable. Lack of movement can also increase the pain and slow down the healing process. It is best to stay active as much as possible and exercise.
Is exercising a good idea?
Exercise is a physical therapy tool that is oftentimes prescribed by doctors as a better and natural pain relief treatment. It strengthens the back and relieves the pain. Thinking about what exercises to do depends on how much pain you are experiencing and what could have caused it. Not all exercises are beneficial when it comes to helping the back recover. It is wise to avoid rigorous exercises that can put a strain on the back. Overall, the goal is to do exercises that will give you freedom from unwanted and persistent pain.
Additional benefits for exercising with back pain
Although the primary benefit of exercising is back pain relief, there are a few others to take advantage of to improve your health. When you exercise, endorphins, which improve mental health and mood, are released. They are natural pain relievers. Exercising can give your energy a boost. It improves blood circulation throughout the body and alleviates stiffness that may occur due to arthritis.
What to do before exercising?
Before you begin any exercise program, consult with your physical therapist or doctor. Your workout routine should include at least a five to ten-minute warm-up session. Prior to exercising, it is important to warm up to prepare the back and loosens the spine. Warm-up sessions can prevent further damages that can prolong a full recovery.
Back Exercises and Stretching
Back exercises that are highly recommended focus on strengthening. Theses exercises condition the muscles, which can relieve stress and pain in the back. Core muscles such as hip and abdominal are targeted to improve spine health, increase mobility, and build strength to minimize further injuries.
Stretching is also recommended for back pain relief. Different kinds of stretches focus on the lower and upper back increasing support for the spine. Stretching can be included in the warm-up session before exercising.
Here are examples of back strengthening exercises and stretches:
• Hamstring Stretches
• Water Aerobics
• Knee to Chest Stretches
• Yoga and using an exercise ball
Exercises such as leg lifts, sit-ups, heavy weight lifting, and even toe touches should be avoided. The most effective exercises are geared toward each individual’s needs. Remember, consult your doctor or physical therapist first to decide which exercises are harmful or helpful to your back.
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