Should I Still Exercise Even Though I Have Low Back Pain?
The short answer….YES! If you have a flare up of low back pain, it might be scary to think that exercise is ok. It is important to get some rest initially after your injury. However, too much rest can lead to stiffness in your back, and actually worsen the pain. So, it is important to move – in the proper ways.
Walking is a great form of exercise, as it works all of your muscle groups and builds strength and endurance. Begin by walking for just 5 minutes, and everyday add more time. Eventually, try to work up to walking for 30 minutes per day.
Stretching…in the proper directions, will maintain your mobility, and perhaps even ease your pain. Stretching of the leg muscles will ease the pressure off of the back. All stretches are not created equal…so what works for someone else may not work for you. Not exactly sure which stretches to do? Contact me and I will guide you in the right direction!
Strengthening: When your back has calmed down, simple strengthening exercises to target your core and low back muscles, will really help ease your pain, and prevent it from coming back…because the stronger your core is, the more support your spine will have. Again, these should be tailored to your specific condition, but here are a couple that are good to start with:
While lying on your back with your knees bent, tighten your stomach muscles as you draw your navel down towards the floor. Hold for 5 seconds, 20 repetitions.
BRACE SUPINE MARCHING
While lying on your back with your knees bent, slowly raise up one foot a few inches and then set it back down. Next, perform on your other leg. Use your stomach muscles to keep your spine from moving.
So, in general, walking, gentle stretching, and progressively strengthening your core and back muscles will help to ease your low back pain. If any of these cause you an increase in pain or discomfort, then discontinue the exercise. To prevent further flare ups, make sure you get to the root of the cause by visiting a physical therapist. This way, the PT will determine exactly which exercises are best for your condition, and what other treatments will be appropriate for you.
Need help figuring out the best way to strengthen your core and back muscles? Sign up for our new, 4 week class, “Back Fit!” Click on this link to find out more! http://crossroadsopt.com/back-fit/
As always, I hope this information was helpful. Any questions or comments, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks for reading!
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"We help active adults and athletes get back to doing the activities they love, without relying on painkillers or injections."
Shaheen Siddiqui, PT
Specialist Physical Therapist