EXERCISE AND LOWER BACK PAIN

Back pain is extremely common, but it certainly isn’t something that you should have to live with. Back pain can really discourage your typical routine, especially if you’re an active person. If you have found yourself with a back injury or an increase in lower back pain, it is still safe for you to stay active. The key is knowing which exercises are right for working out with lower back pain, and which lower back pain exercises to avoid.

Unless your back pain is caused by a severe condition like a fracture, chronic disease or a spinal tumor, most low-intensity cardio and strength training can actually help manage back pain. That’s because exercise strengthens muscles to support the spine, while stretching improves mobility in tight back and surrounding muscles. Inactivity in fact can worsen or increase the severity of back pain. 

Movement really is medicine when it comes to back pain and research shows that it should be the first line of treatment to manage most back pain conditions. Rest is no longer the best option and in fact can provide further negative outcomes. However, exercise needs to be prescribed at the right dose including the intensity, the number of reps, the type of exercise etc. for it to be optimal for each individual. 

MOVEMENT IS MEDICINE

Core Strength and Stability

Having a strong and stable core is a fundamental aspect of spine health. A strong and stable core helps keep your body upright and allows for flexible movement. Without core strength and stability, your spine will become stressed, risking further injury. 

Examples of core stability exercises for back health include:

  • Pelvic tilts
  • Glute bridges 
  • Bird dog 
  • Pallof press
Strength and Weight Training

Many people assume you should avoid strength training if you have a bad back. However, research suggests otherwise. The spine is crucial to functional movements that we perform everyday so it is critical to strengthen all muscle groups that support the back and core. This includes strengthening the shoulders, chest, legs and glutes.

Mobility and stretching

In combination with core stability and strength training, mobility and stretching is an essential part of being active with lower back pain. When low back pain is involved, stretching out tight hamstring, quad and glute muscles can help relieve pressure from the low back. If you’re suffering from back pain, begin with light, easy stretching and perform stretches daily to reduce tightness gradually. 

Got questions about how to effectively manage your back pain? Come and chat to our expert team!

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