Lower back pain happens to nearly everybody, and it can really get in the way of your ability to stick to your everyday routine. Driving, cooking, taking care of kids – every aspect of your day is colored by discomfort, and that is especially true of your daily workout.
Exercise is an essential factor in overall health, so it’s not a good idea to stop working out unless your doctor has told you that you should. If you are suffering with chronic back pain and still want to work out, there are certain steps you can take to minimize your pain and avoid exacerbating the problem.
Though it’s natural to be afraid that working out will make your pain worse, the truth is that the more you move, the better you are likely to feel. The secret lies in knowing what exercises are likely to cause pain and choose the right exercises for your situation. Here are some of the best ways to do that.
Invest in a session with a trainer or expert who can help you create the perfect workout.
Though you may think of a personal trainer as a luxury reserved for celebrities, the truth is that you can learn a lot from a single session – plus, you may not even need to invest. Many gym employees and exercise class teachers are more than willing to spend a few extra minutes with you, making suggestions about what kind of moves or adjustments you can make to your routine to minimize impact on your back.
The more information you can give them about your diagnosis, which steps hurt and what your fitness goals are, the better the information that they’ll be able to provide. You may find that a small change in how you move can make a big difference, while still giving you a good workout.
Make sure that you’re warming up before you exercise.
The warmup is one of the most frequently skipped aspects of exercise, but it is absolutely essential for protecting your back. That’s because when you warm up, you give yourself a better chance of maximizing your range of motion and activating your nervous system.
Ensure that you’re stable.
One of the biggest risks of exercising when you’re vulnerable to back pain is a lack of stability: an accidental twist or fall can eliminate any progress that you’ve made. To avoid this outcome, make sure that you are stable by maximizing your points of contact.
That may mean holding onto handles of aerobic equipment or working out on the floor or using a bench instead of while standing.
You may want to work just one leg at a time and avoid balance, bending, or movement exercises that risk falling. The goal is to make sure that your body is positioned where it is supposed to be.
Strengthen your core.
Having a strong core is one of the best ways to protect your back.
The most important thing is that before you do any exercises, you check with a lumbar spine specialist to make sure that you’re not doing additional harm. They may be able to suggest specific exercises that will not only avoid pain, but actually strengthen your back. Call us today to set up an appointment.