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Exercising and Lower Back Pain
Many people think that the best remedy for lower back pain is to rest and take it easy, but the opposite is true. Movement and exercise, when done properly, can get you on the road to recovery more quickly. Serious back pain that is constant, keeps you awake, radiates to other body parts, or is associated with an injury should be seen by a qualified physician like Dr. Charla Fischer in NYC, but less serious symptoms can benefit from being active to increase blood flow and relax muscles. Here are some suggestions for the right ways to stay active for a healthy lower back.
Laying around for more than a day or two related to lower back pain is not recommended by Dr. Fischer. Begin with simple activities like walking at a moderate pace and work your way up from there. Avoid high-impact movements that stress your joints like running, playing basketball, or jumping.
Stretching is a great way to relieve lower back muscle spasms and improve your flexibility. Performing simple stretches in the morning and evening each day can go a long way in helping you recover. Dr. Fischer can offer suggestions on stretches that are safe and effective.
Warm up with low-level cardio movements for 5 to 10 minutes before proceeding into more intense movements. Walking is a great option to get your blood circulating, avoid injuries, and help prevent further back pain. This is advised before any type of exercise, whether you’re working in the yard or gym. Lower back pain can appear or get worse if you suddenly place pressure on your back without warming up first.
Listen to your body when it comes to back pain. The type of pain you’re experiencing can indicate what you might be doing wrong with your body. For example, if your back feels better when your knees are bent, that may indicate you stand with your knees locked and should bend your knees slightly when standing. Or, if your back hurts more when sitting, you may be arching your back too much and could benefit from stretching your hamstrings. If you have back pain when you twist, you might be repeatedly rotating your body incorrectly and could benefit from body mechanics instructions and core strengthening. Dr. Fischer can help you identify the causes of your back pain and ways to reduce it.
Practice good posture
Focus on standing straighter and aligning your spine, instead of slumping or slouching when sitting or standing.
Be careful when lifting
Use proper body mechanics for lifting, such as bending with your knees instead of your back. If you’re having back pain, avoid lifting items overhead or placing weight on your shoulders.
Change it up
Consider changing the type of exercise you do if you’re experiencing back pain. For example, water aerobics or swimming are excellent options that don’t place pressure on your spine.
Know when to stop
As with any exercise, stop doing it if it hurts. Performing painful movements can worsen your back issues instead of improving them. Some lower back problems may heal on their own within a few weeks if you don’t do anything to make them worse. However, if the pain doesn’t improve or gets worse, schedule an appointment with Dr. Fischer to get the help you need.