Working out can make your body stronger, however, the performing exercises incorrectly could give you back pain and cause injuries that leave you in agony. First, let’s talk about back pain and why you should not ignore it.
Back Pain: What It Is
Back pain can occur because of strained back muscles and/or spinal ligaments. Poor physical conditions can also cause back pains. These may include:
- Damaged discs
- Compression of nerve roots
- Improper movement of spinal joints
- Torn or pulled muscle
In some cases, back pain can be so painful that the person is unable to sleep or perform his/her daily activities. If you experience this, consult a doctor or seek an expert, like a North York chiropractor for example. Luckily, in most cases back pain can be healed through correct exercises to strengthen the muscles as well as rest.
Here are some simple tips you can use to avoid back pain from working out.
Don’t Forget to Stretch
Stretching is often underrated but it can help avoid serious injuries to the body when working out. Doctors also agree that the right stretches help to relieve lower back pain. Two easy stretches include:
- Back-Pocket Stretch
- Stand up and place your hands behind like putting them inside your back pockets.
- Look up, and then arch your back.
- Hold for a few seconds.
- Cobra pose
- Lie on your stomach.
- Place your hands on the floor like you’re starting a push-up.
- Press your upper body up but keep your hips to the ground.
- Hold for a few seconds.
Strengthen Your Core Muscles
Your core muscles are a large group of muscles that support your entire body, including your lower back. By doing core-strengthening exercises, you can build up your core strength and in turn will help you avoid common injuries caused by a weak core. Remember though, you must keep doing some sort of exercise to maintain your strength.
Workouts and exercises such as:
- Low-Impact Cardio – this type of exercise helps increase blood flow to the spine, which delivers adequate healing nutrients and hydration to your lower back.
- Ball Exercises – using exercise balls, you can engage your core muscles. One good workout is sitting on an exercise ball intermittently for about 20 – 30 minutes. You can even switch out your desk chair with one of these balls.
- Hollow body holds
- Side-to-Side Planks
- Russian Twists
- Leg Raises
- Hip Raises
Lifting? Watch Your Back
Lifting weights is another primary cause of intense lower back pain, especially an exercise like the deadlift. When weight-lifting, be sure to protect your back when lifting heavy weights. Lifting with a bent back or while twisting can cause serious injury, and if this happens often you may develop chronic tissue damage. Other times sudden, improper lifting can cause severe injuries that may necessitate professional help. So remember to keep good form and do not go too heavy too soon.
Straighten Your Back
Improper posture while exercising or while doing anything, for that matter can cause lower back pain. Avoid slouching and slumping when doing exercises that require you to straighten up your back. Practice good posture by:
- Standing straight
- Lining up your head and shoulders
- Lining up your hips, knees, and feet
A good posture helps reduce tension and the chances of chronic lower back pain.
Loosen Up Your Hamstrings
You may not know it, but tight hamstrings can also cause lower back pain. Hamstring exercises can help avoid such pains in that they alleviate the pressure on your pelvis. Simple stretches can also offer relief across your lower back.
Don’t Ignore the Pain
Last but not least, do not ignore the pain. Do not force yourself to work through the pain. If you do so you risk damaging your lower back muscles and spine seriously, and you don’t want that to happen! Also, if the chronic pain doesn’t disappear on its own even when you’re being careful, it’s time to consult a doctor.