Tag Archives: exercise

Ward Off Back Pain With Exercise

We have a lot of family members of patients ask us what they can do to prevent back pain. While it depends on the cause of pain, we generally advise that they can ward off back pain with exercise and proper posture. Weight training can help prevent back pain. Click To Tweet

Believe it or not, one of the best forms of exercise to help prevent back pain and injury is weight training. When done properly, weight training can strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, making you much less likely to strain your back. While your goal may be to specifically strengthen your back, abdominal, and hamstring muscles, you cannot solely focus on those muscles groups. Doing so may lead to imbalances in your musculature and result in other areas of pain.

Tips for staying safe

If done incorrectly, weight training can quickly lead to back pain and injury. To avoid that happening to you, keep the tips below in mind.

  • Always practice proper form. If you are uncertain of the proper form, please consult an expert or a personal trainer at your gym.
  • Focus on slow and steady resistance training, avoiding any jerky or sudden movements.
  • Start with a light amount of weight. When you feel comfortable performing the exercise at that weight, challenge yourself by slowly increasing the weight or amount of repetitions.
  • Never skip warming up or cooling down.

Below are two exercises to try if you’re specifically looking to strengthen your spine. Add them to your current workout and perform them up to 2 times per week, completing 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions each time.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Image: Bodybuilding.com

 

 

 

 

 

Find a flat bench and place a dumbbell on each side. Position your right leg and right hand on top of the bench. Use your left hand to pick the dumbbell off the floor and hold it while keeping your back straight. Pull the dumbbell up to the side of your body, keeping your upper arm close to your side and your torso stationary. Then, lower the dumbbell back to the starting position. Perform this movement 10-15 times before switching sides. After completing the exercise on both sides, rest before repeating it 1-2 more times.

Planks

Planks

 

 

 

 

Start by getting into the pushup position and dropping onto your forearms, making sure your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Keeping your core muscles tight, make sure your entire body forms a straight line. Hold the position for as long as you can before resting and repeating the exercise 1-2 additional times.

To ward off back pain with exercise, it is important to be consistent. Starting out, we recommend you only work out 2-3 times per week and increase from there. As always, it’s best to consult your physician before beginning a new exercise regime.

Walking For Exercise And Spine Health

With the weather warming up, we know you’re itching to take a walk around the block and soak up some sunshine. Walking is a great form of low impact aerobic exercise for people of all fitness levels. It provides all of the benefits other forms of aerobic activity provide without the added stress on your joints. We recommend walking for exercise to our patients with ongoing or recurring back pain, or for those recovering from surgery.

Benefits Of Walking For Exercise

Walking for exercise has a myriad of health benefits. First, it helps to strengthen both your muscles and bones. When the muscles in your feet, legs, hips, and torso become stronger, they increase your spine’s stability and condition the muscles to hold your body upright. The stronger these muscles are, the less susceptible you are to back pain and spinal injuries.

Second, walking also provides nourishment for your spinal structures. Because it’s an aerobic activity, it improves your body’s circulation. Improved circulation helps pump nutrients into your spine’s soft tissues and drain toxins.

Third, walking for exercise can help improve your flexibility and posture. When combined, walking and stretching allow your joints to have a greater range of motion.

Finally, walking reduces bone density loss, which helps to prevent osteoporosis and lessens pain caused by osteoarthritis.Walking can help prevent osteoporosis by reducing bone density loss. Click To Tweet

Good Posture Is Key

However, like every other aspect of daily life, posture is the key to a healthy spine. Your feet help to keep your body balanced and aligned and any imbalance in your feet can cause weight to be distributed improperly.

This imbalance can affect your gait while walking, leading to muscle and back pain. While the imbalance may seem minimal, over time the unnecessary wear and tear can add up to serious damage to your spine.

A proper pair of walking shoes can prevent an imbalance from occurring. To find the correct pair, we recommend you visit a shoe store that can match shoes based on your natural gait.

 
And, as always, be sure to consult your healthcare provider before beginning a new exercise regime. While walking for exercise is beneficial for most, it may not be a suitable exercise for all. Happy walking!

Strengthen Your Back In Three Moves

We’ve noticed a trend in all of our most recent blogs; we keep urging you to remain active and add some workouts to your daily routine. While that’s easy for us to say, sometimes it’s hard for those of you suffering from back pain to know which exercises are safe for you to perform.

Obviously, it’s impossible for us to know through the Internet which exercises are safe for your particular condition, so we want to remind you to consult your physician before beginning a new exercise program, especially if you suffer from chronic pain.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about exercising with back pain. Not only do certain exercises help prevent back pain, but they can also relieve it if you are already suffering. They do so by strengthening your back, stomach, and leg muscles.

Stronger muscles mean less pain while performing daily activities. That seems logical, right?

In addition to the following exercises, adding a stretching regimen to your daily routine can also be extremely effective for those suffering from back pain, or those who aren’t. Stretching is an important, often overlooked, aspect of health.

We recommend repeating the exercises below 8-12 times each, or as many times as you feel comfortable completing. Remember, the more you exercise, the stronger you’ll get. So, it’s important to continue pushing yourself by either doing more exercises or holding them for a longer amount of time.

Partial crunches

Partial crunches

Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Cross your arms across your chest or put them behind your head. Then, tighten your stomach muscles and raise your shoulders off the ground, all while slowly breathing out. Hold for one second and lower with control to the ground.

Wall sits

Image source: Popsugar

Image source: Popsugar

Stand about a foot from a wall and lean back until your back is flat against it. Slowly lower yourself until your knees are slightly bent, pressing your lower back into the wall. Hold for ten seconds before standing back up.

Bridging

Bridging

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Push your heels into the ground, squeeze your glutes, and lift your hips until your shoulders, hips, and knees form a straight line. Hold for about six seconds before slowly lowering yourself to the ground again.
We know it can be tempting to rest when suffering from back pain, but doing so for more than a couple of days can actually make your pain worse. So be proactive and start by incorporating one or all of these exercises into your daily routine. You know what they say, every bit helps!

9 Yoga Poses to Relieve Back Pain

Did you know that September is National Yoga Month? Yoga can be extremely beneficial for those experiencing back pain, including occasional soreness and chronic pain. However, people with severe back pain should not attempt to use yoga for symptom relief. And remember, it is always a good idea to consult your physician before beginning a new fitness regimen.

What makes yoga so much better for back pain than other fitness routines? Yoga is one of the only workouts that emphasizes stretching, strength, and flexibility. In fact, recent studies have found that practicing yoga relieves symptoms caused by back pain better than stretching alone. The same study found that those who practice yoga regularly are twice as likely to cut back on pain medications than those who attempt to manage symptoms on their own.

So which poses should you incorporate into your routine for the most effective pain relief? We’ve compiled a list of nine poses below, along with instructions on how to perform them, to help manage your back pain symptoms. All of the poses should be held for 3-5 breaths.

Downward Facing Dog

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

Downward facing dog is the most well-known yoga pose out there because elongates the cervical spine and strengthens the core, hamstrings and lower back – all in one move! Begin on your hands and knees, tuck your toes, lift your hips and bring your heels toward the ground, making sure to keep your spine straight.

 

Upward Facing Dog

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

Upward facing dog helps to open your chest, and improve abdominal and back stretch. From the downward facing dog position, shift forward into a plank pose. Untuck your toes and lift your head up, making sure to keep your knees off the ground.

 

Low Lunge with Backbend

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

Low lunge with backbend strengthens and stretches your entire back. While in a low lunge position, gently lower your back knee to the ground. Bring your arms up alongside your head and lean back.

 

Seated Forward Fold

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

Seated forward fold is primarily known as a hamstring stretch, but it’s also great for lengthening your back. Start in an upright seated position with your legs in front of you. Guide your hands down your legs until you’ve stretched as far as you can.

 

Seated Spinal Twist

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

Seated spinal twist is great for improving posture and spine mobility. While in a seated position, bring your left foot to the outside of your right knee. Hook your right elbow outside your left knee and look back over your left shoulder. Repeat on the opposite side.

 

Standing Forward Fold with Clasped Hands

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

Standing forward fold with clasped hands is great for stretching your back, increasing shoulder mobility, and opening up your chest. While standing, bend forward at your hips and stretch your fingertips toward the ground. Clasp your hands behind you and bring your palms together, even if you have to bend your elbows.

 

Lower Back Clasp

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

Lower back clasp both stretches and strengthens your lower back. While lying on your stomach, clasp your hands behind you and lift your chest off the ground. Again, if you have to bend your elbows to bring your palms together, do so.

 

Sphinx Pose

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

Sphinx pose lengthens the spine and opens up the chest. Start on your hands and knees, and lower your stomach to the ground while bringing your forearms in front of you and lifting your chest.

 

Bow Pose

(Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post)

Bow pose stretches and strengthens the upper back and shoulders to help improve posture. While lying on your stomach, reach for your heels and lift them up, causing your back to arch naturally.