When done properly, regular exercise can help reduce the risk of lower back pain. It’s important, therefore, to determine which ones are best for you. If you led an active life before injury or illness, it’s possible the sports or training exercises you performed in the past may not apply in your current condition.
According to the Everyday Health blog, high-impact exercises and sports that involve bending and contorting the upper body can prove detrimental for people suffering back pain. Contact team sports like football and soccer, and activities like tennis and racquetball that require you to twist and lean back and forth can cause further strain and delay healing.
Lower-impact exercises that help keep the spine in a neutral position provide better opportunities for improved health while you manage your pain. Depending on the severity of your pain, it’s important to consult with your physician or physical therapist before trying a specific program.
When exercising on your own, certain activities are good for cardio and improved flexibility:
A recent study published in Spine Journal followed over 17,000 people aged 50 and older to determine the connection between back pain and frequent walking exercise. Of the participants, over 73% of patients who experienced back pain found it decreased when walking more than three days a week for an hour or more at a time. Low-impact walking in your neighborhood, mall, or nearby park provides ample opportunity for muscle toning as well.
Yoga offers versatility, so you can adapt to a routine according to your body’s limitations. As you improve, you may find your breathing and flexibility improve as your discomfort decreases.
Swimming and Water Aerobics
Low-impact pool exercises can help with strength training and stress reduction, as well as improve your cardiovascular health. Bodies tend to move well in water, meaning you can exercise with less pain.
Back pain as a result of illness, age, or injury doesn’t have to mean an end to an active lifestyle. At Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists, we can help determine the best course of action for your pain management and relief. Whether it involves surgery or physical therapy, our staff will work to provide you the best care so you can return to work and play. Contact us today for more information.