Exercise strengthens muscles that support the spine and helps to take pressure off the bones and joints. Mild muscle soreness during and after exercise is normal, but it should go away quickly.
If back pain does not subside, a health care professional should be consulted for a program that is safe and effective.
Stretching is an important part of any exercise routine, but it’s particularly beneficial for those with back pain. Stretching improves flexibility, which decreases the likelihood of a back injury by making muscles and connective tissue less tight and tense. Stretching also strengthens the muscles and connective tissues, allowing them to move more efficiently and increasing your overall strength and stability.
Stretches for your back should be done daily or a few times per week, Galliett says. To avoid injury, start with a few gentle, controlled moves and increase the number of repetitions or duration of each stretch as you gain more muscle strength and flexibility. Be careful when performing stretches that are flexion-based (bending forward) or extension-based (arching backward), as both can increase the likelihood of back pain. Attempt to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds, but be sure not to bounce, which can cause tissue injury.
One of the simplest back pain-relieving stretches is the knee to chest stretch, which can be done lying down or standing up. To perform the stretch, lay down on the floor with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Then, slowly pull your right knee up to your chest by grabbing it with your hand. Repeat with the left knee, if possible.
Another good back pain-relieving stretch is the bridge, which can be performed while sitting or lying down. Lie down with your knees bent and on the floor, then lift one leg off the ground to raise your buttocks off the ground. Hold this position for about 20-30 seconds, then return to the original position. The bridge strengthens the muscles that run along your spine and buttocks, which can help improve your posture.
Aerobic exercises are also helpful in managing back pain. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise — including walking, swimming, biking or dancing — increases the production of endorphins, natural chemicals that act as a painkiller by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain.
If you are currently experiencing back pain, consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program. It’s also a good idea to build up your physical activity gradually, especially if you’ve been sitting more than usual due to back pain. Otherwise, you risk returning to the same level of deconditioning that caused the pain in the first place.
In many cases, back pain is caused by muscles that aren’t strong enough. This is especially true for the core muscles that are responsible for spinal stability. When these muscles are weak, the entire spine takes on more of a burden than it should. This places a lot of stress on the lumbar discs, which can only hold so much before they start to degenerate and cause back pain. In order to make sure that your spine is okay, it is best to check it and the average cost is around $150.
The best way to avoid this is by strengthening the muscles that support the spine. This doesn’t have to mean going to a gym and lifting weights, but can include activities like climbing stairs or gardening. Swimming is also a great exercise to try, as it’s low-impact on the joints and helps to build core strength. It’s important to remember that any new exercise program should be introduced gradually and that if you experience pain while exercising, stop immediately. Pain is a good indication that your body is working too hard and you should slow down or stop until the pain subsides.
One of the most common causes of back pain is a muscle strain or sprain, which can happen when you overstretch a muscle or twist your back too far. These injuries often occur when lifting something heavy or when you are performing an unfamiliar movement. These types of back injuries are usually not serious and should heal on their own, but they can still cause a lot of pain and discomfort.
If you are suffering from chronic back pain, our team at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas in Pearland and Bellaire can help with treatments to relieve the pain. In addition, there are some things that you can do on your own to strengthen the back and core muscles.
Core muscles are a group of muscles that is responsible for spinal stability and includes the transversus abdominis, lumbar multifidus and internal oblique muscle. Weakness in these muscles can lead to a flattening of the spine, which is known as a kyphosis. This can increase the demand on the lumbar discs and nerves, which can cause chronic back pain.
The ability of muscles, joints, and other soft tissues to move through an unrestricted range of motion is known as flexibility. It is the opposite of rigidity, which is the inability to stretch or bend at all. Flexibility varies greatly from person to person, and it is influenced by genetics, age, activity level, and history of injury.
It is important to remember that everything in the body is connected, so if one muscle or joint is tight it puts pressure on nearby ones and prevents them from moving properly. This can cause long-term back problems. Having strong muscles helps support the spine and take pressure off of it. In addition, exercise boosts natural endorphins, which improve pain and make you feel happier.
Studies on the relationship between flexibility and health outcomes are more difficult to perform than those on other fitness components, such as cardiorespiratory endurance. This is primarily because the relationships are typically more complex and involve multiple musculoskeletal factors rather than just one variable, such as muscular strength or aerobic capacity.
When assessing flexibility, tests are usually based on measuring the angle of a joint using devices called goniometers. The results are then compared to accepted normal values. There are also functional tests that involve completing a series of tasks, such as the sit and reach or the trunk extension. These tests are more useful in evaluating how well a person moves and performs daily activities.
Aside from improving flexibility, exercise also speeds up circulation and brings more oxygen to the muscles and cells. This is important for keeping the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and spine healthy. It is important to avoid high-impact exercises, such as jogging or running (especially on hard surfaces), tennis, some forms of dance, and any type of exercise that twists the spine.
The most effective way to deal with back pain is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Staying active throughout the day is important – try walking up and down stairs instead of taking elevators, or use a standing desk at work. If you do suffer from back pain, it is important to talk to a healthcare professional. Often, back pain is the result of simple sprains and strains that will settle within a few weeks if treated properly.
The back is supported by the muscles and ligaments that wrap around it. If these weaken, your back can become less stable and you may experience pain. Strengthening and conditioning exercises can help to strengthen the core muscles, which support the spine and body’s weight. This helps reduce pain and stiffness and allows you to get back to normal activities.
Exercise also stimulates the nerves in the spinal cord, boosting natural painkillers called endorphins and improving overall function. If you are experiencing back pain, try to remain active as much as possible and keep moving. You can take steps to protect your back when exercising, such as avoiding lifting heavy objects and twisting the back, bending at the knees instead of the waist when you lift and dividing loads when carrying shopping.
A physiotherapist can oversee your exercise programme and recommend specific workouts to improve your core strength and stability. Alternatively, manual therapies, or hands-on treatments, can be used in conjunction with exercises to speed up recovery and ease back pain. These include manipulation and mobilisation of the spinal joints, carried out by osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists.
It is important to be active soon after you start experiencing back pain to maintain movement and muscle strength, which supports tissue healing and can help prevent further problems. However, it is also essential to listen to your back and stop if you feel pain or discomfort.
Low-impact aerobics such as walking, swimming and cycling can help improve strength and stability in the back and other body muscles. Adding resistance training to these low-impact aerobics can boost benefits, but be careful not to push into painful positions.
Avoid high-impact aerobics such as jogging, jumping or sports that involve repetitive motions, as they can make back pain worse. Also avoid exercises that jar the back or twist it, such as some types of dancing and tennis.
The good news is that most back pain is not caused by serious conditions and will resolve on its own with time. Regular exercise and staying active is usually recommended over taking painkillers, unless the pain is severe and persists.