When an individual has severe back pain, it can put their entire life on hold. The back provides the other parts of the body with strength and stability. However, that doesn’t mean that having back pain means sitting back and taking it easy. Even though exercise is often the last thing on the list of priorities when pain is present, there are safe exercises that can be done not only preserve the back, but that can also strengthen it and heal it in the process.
Protecting the Spine
One of the worst exercises for back pain is the sit-up. Sit-ups put a great deal of pressure on the lower back, and can actually make back pain worse. Most Orthopaedic physicians recommend pelvic tilts as an alternative. To perform these exercises, the individual simply lies down on his or her back with knees bent. Then, the stomach muscles are tightened until the small of the back touches the floor. This position is held for a few minutes, and then it is repeated.
Stretching the Spine
For many years, athletes were instructed to bend over and touch their toes as a way to stretch out their spines. What’s even worse is when people include a bouncing motion with this exercise. A safer way to stretch the spine involves lying flat on the floor, but with the knees bent. One knee is then brought closer to the chest while the other leg is straightened. This position is held for about twenty seconds, and then it is repeated on the other side. This is a safe way to stretch the spine that won’t aggravate a current injury.
Try Supportive Aerobics
Orthopaedic physicians agree that aerobic exercise is important for those who are dealing with back pain. Walking is excellent, but many individuals find that their bodies need more support when they have pain. In that case, swimming is a great alternative. Being in the water provides a significant amount of support to all of the muscles in the body, and it’s a very good way to get the blood flowing to the back. In fact, many professionals in the field of Orthopaedics even prefer swimming to walking.
Opt for a Yoga Class
Yoga has been proven to be an excellent form of exercise for anyone who suffers from back pain. Yoga serves to strengthen the back as well as the muscles surrounding the spine. It also teaches balance, which is important to prevent further injury. Even though there are various types of Yoga DVD’s on the market that can be done in the home, if back pain is an issue, it’s usually safer to take a class. A class with an instructor who has experience modifying the exercises for individuals with back pain will offer the type of support that’s needed.
Use an Exercise Ball
There are many great exercises that can be done with an exercise ball, but they’re also beneficial to have around to sit on while working. Many people use them instead of traditional office chairs because they help to strengthen the muscles in the back as well as in the abdomen. An Orthopaedic professional or a physical therapist can offer tips on the best way to use an exercise ball according to an individual’s specific type of back pain.
For those who have been suffering from back pain – whether for days or for years – Premier Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine is here to help them get back on the road toward recovery.