Exercising is of great benefit both to someone suffering from back pain and for anyone hoping to avoid it in the future. If you are suffering from acute back pain, exercising may not be possible or even a good idea. However, for chronic back pain, a regular exercise program will probably be recommended by your doctor.
Either your physician or a therapist can help you in developing an exercise plan that is suitable for you and your condition. You will want to include the following types of exercises. Stretching exercises are designed to improve the extension of the muscles and soft tissues. This can reduce stiffness and increase range of motion.
Typical stretching exercises for the back include lying on your back and raising each leg to your chest, as well as bridges and hamstring stretches. The purposes of flexion exercises, which are exercises in which you bend forward, are to widen the spaces between the vertebrae. This relieves pressure on the nerves, and stretches the muscles of the back and hips. They will also strengthen the muscles that support the spine, those of the back, abdomen and legs.
With extension exercises, you bend backward. They open up the spinal canal in places and develop muscles that support the spine. Extension exercises may minimize radicular pain, which is pain that radiates to other parts of the body besides the back, especially the legs and lower extremities. Extension exercises include leg lifts and trunk raises.
Aerobic exercise is the type that gets your heart rate elevated fora period of time. It is also known as cardiovascular exercise. It is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week. Aerobic exercises are good for working the large muscles of the back and core. For those with back problems,walking, jogging and swimming may be suitable aerobic activities.
For back problems, you should avoid exercise that requires twisting or vigorous bending, like aerobics and rowing, as well as contact sports like football or hockey, because these activities may cause more damage to your back. Especially avoid high-impact activities if you have any sort of disc disease. If your back pain or fitness level makes it impossible to exercise 30 minutes at a time, try three 10-minute sessions to start with and work up to your goal.
Obesity is a common cause of back pain. The strain of carrying excess weight can contribute greatly to back pain. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help control obesity, and reduce the frequency of back pain episodes. Aerobic exercise can help manage weight concerns. Swimming, jogging or even walking are all activities that will help you lose weight and feel better.
If you suffer from back pain, it is important to make sure that you are doing the right exercises and that you are doing them properly. As chiropractors we can help you develop proper techniques so that you can derive the maximum benefit for your exercise and avoid injuring yourself further.