Contributed by: Michaela Scroggins, M.S., NASM-CPT
In the past if we injured our back it was encouraged to do no exercising, or lifting, and just rest for a couple of weeks until the pain is reduced. As more research is produced we are finding out that inactivity is one of the worst things you can do. If you do have back pain, exercise can help facilitate blood flow to the inflamed area which can provide nutrients to the spine rid any toxic metabolites. Also, exercise strengthens the muscles around the spine to aid in taking pressure off the spinal column, nerves and bones within the back. Exercise can help maintain flexibility and prevent muscle tightness which can lead to potentially pulling a muscle and worsening symptoms of back pain. Exercise has proved to reduce back pain in the long run. The key isn’t how much exercise, rather it is proper exercise. In order to assist in reducing back pain one must strengthen their core, glutes, and increase overall endurance.
Here are a few exercises that can aide in back pain relief:
TRUNK ROTATION: Core exercise that helps strengthen transverse abdominis, which is a muscle that helps supports the vertebral column. For this exercise you lay on your back, engage the core, and drop your knees side to side. Within this exercise, use your abdominal muscles to move your legs. Do not allow your back to compensate moving the legs.
THE CLAM: Glute exercise that assists in stabilizing the hips and develops muscle within the gluteus medius. To start the exercise begin lying on the side with your hips stacked on top of one another and your knees bent with ankles together. Lift the upper knee off the lower knee while keeping the ankles together and hips remain stacked.
WALKING: A cardiovascular exercise that builds endurance and will increase your ability to use your muscles during daily activities. Normally at the end of a long day when we are tired and fatigued we compensate by using our backs to lift an object and cause an injury.
Exercise can be great tool to help reduce back pain. Continuing to move your body allows the back to receive the nutrition that it needs. Strengthening the muscles around the spine will help relieve pressure on the spine, nerves and bone structure in the back.