Exercising with Back Pain is Possible in Fredericksburg

Apr 15, 2023

Exercise is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but for those with back pain, it can be a daunting task. However, with the proper precautions and modifications, exercising with back pain is possible. Reach out to our chiropractic clinic in Fredericksburg to get started.

First and foremost, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any exercise program. They can help assess your specific condition and provide guidance on which exercises will be most beneficial for you.

Here are three recommendations for exercising with back pain:

Low-impact aerobic exercises.

One of the best types of exercise for those with back pain is low-impact aerobic exercise. This includes activities such as walking, swimming, and cycling, which put minimal stress on the joints and spine. These exercises can help improve cardiovascular health and increase flexibility and strength in the muscles that support the back. It is recommended that you do this for at least 30 minutes a day 5 days a week.

Strength training.

Strength training is also beneficial for those with back pain. However, it is important to focus on exercises that target the core muscles, such as the abdominal muscles and lower back muscles, rather than exercises that put strain on the back, such as heavy lifting or powerlifting. Crunches (as to just get the shoulder blades off the ground), abdominal bracing exercises, bird dogs and roman chair exercises are all great exercises for strengthening the core and providing support for the back. When performing the roman chair exercise make sure to not hyperextend the back as you see most people doing, only go to neutral this is to ensure that the joints of the spine do not get jammed as you extend. Exercising with lower weights and higher repetitions will be more beneficial for those wanting to include strength training, this is because it helps develop proper technique and avoid unnecessary stresses on the ligaments of the spine that are used when the muscles are not strong enough or get too fatigued to lift the weight. Muscles are the primary joint stabilizers and they will rely on the secondary joint stabilizers the ligaments if the weight exceeds the strength of the muscle. Some exercises to avoid are those that use the legs to engage the abdominal muscles like leg lifts and captains chair. When the abdominal muscles fatigue like they are supposed to during strength training these types of exercises will cause the legs to create a hyperextension in the low back due to abdominal fatigue. Exercises that you can use to substitute these exercises are your simple crunches where you lift the upper body just to where the shoulder blades come off the ground and stop. This makes sure that the lower back is not compromised when the muscles fatigue.

Yoga and Pilates.

Yoga and Pilates are also excellent forms of exercise for those with back pain. Both focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles and can help improve flexibility and reduce pain. However, it is important to start with a beginner class and progress slowly, as some poses may not be suitable for those with back pain. Also avoiding any motions during these classes that use excessive hip or lower back extension will help reduce injury to the pain sensitive structures of the back.

Here are other considerations when exercising with back pain:

Focus on proper form.

It is also important to pay attention to your form when exercising to avoid further injury. Always use proper technique and avoid any exercises that cause pain. If an exercise feels uncomfortable or causes pain, stop immediately and consult with a healthcare professional.

Maintain good posture.

In addition to exercise, it is also important to maintain good posture throughout the day. Sitting for long periods of time can put strain on the back, so it is important to take regular breaks, change position, and stretch. Simply changing positions from a seated position to standing every 30 minutes can help stop the injury to the lower back that comes from standing or sitting for too long. A desk that allows this change in position is extremely helpful, as well as taking a walking break throughout the day. Walking offers some muscle contraction that you back needs to maintain its stability. The back is the most stable when the muscles are contracting this is why you may experience relief while walking rather that sitting or standing for long periods. Choose seating that keeps you up straight and choose chairs that have lumbar support that make you feel like it lifts the middle back upwards rather than just a bump in the back. Strengthening the muscles that support good posture, with things like the roman chair, can also help prevent back pain. This is achieved by creating better neuromuscular control over the stabilizing musculature even though you are not necessarily using them.

Listen to your body.

Finally, it is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. It is always better to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise routine. Remember that exercise should be enjoyable, not painful, so if it becomes too much, take a break and consult with a healthcare professional.

In conclusion, exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even for those exercising with back pain. With the proper precautions and modifications, it is possible to exercise safely and effectively. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any exercise program and listen to your body. Remember, exercise should be enjoyable, not painful.

If you want to begin exercising with back pain, contact our Fredericksburg team at Stine Chiropractic Clinic.

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