Back pain

Pat Yourself On The Back

Everyone experiences some back pain once in awhile. Maybe you spent a little too much time bending over the garden, or maybe you were in an uncomfortable bed for a few nights.

The irony about back pain is that while it causes you to have some degree of immobility and a restricted range of motion, it also requires you to move and exercise more for it to heal and get better.

Strong abdominal and back muscles will mean that you’re less susceptible to back pain. Being flexible and limber is also important for good spinal health. As we get older, our joints, ligaments and muscles get tighter from less movement. 

Most people get increasingly sedentary as they age. The key here is to stay active all your life. This will not only slow the aging process but also keep you energetic and youthful. You lose what you don’t use. So, regular activity is great for keeping back pain at bay.

Great Activities For Your Back

• Walking

This is one of the most underrated forms of exercise and yet, it’s one of the most beneficial too. Walking 20 to 30 minutes a day in the morning on an empty stomach, will not only improve your cardiovascular health, but will also burn your fat stores. Make sure you wear proper footwear while walking.

By losing your excess weight, you’ll be taking pressure off your joints. Maintaining good posture will be easier, and this is extremely important for preventing back pain. In fact, if your posture is good, that’s half the problem solved.

• Swimming

Swimming is a fantastic low-impact activity that is not only cardio in nature but also has elements of resistance training. You’ll want to focus on strokes like the crawl and backstroke. These styles will not only strengthen you, but also make you more flexible.

It’s important that you swim in a controlled and rhythmic fashion. Do not strain your neck or swim vigorously like you’re at the Olympics. You’ll end up straining a muscle. Stick to controlled movements.

• Yoga and Pilates

You may wish to do one or both. Either one is excellent for toning your core and increasing the strength in your back muscles. Yoga is more effective for stress relief because of its emphasis on breathing techniques, etc. Both these exercises are extremely effective for back pain sufferers.

• Resistance training

This is one of the most powerful forms of training especially if you’re suffering from osteoporosis – weight training will increase your bone mass, strengthen your muscles and help to relieve back pain. Of course, you’ll need to do the exercises with good form and in a controlled manner.

The 5 activities mentioned above are ideal for back pain relief and for overall health. Stick to these, and you’ll be fine.

Activities to avoid

There are some activities, however, that will aggravate your back pain and you should avoid them at all cost.

Jogging and running are two of them. Both are high impact and you might accidentally trip or miss a step and the staggering that follows might trigger your back pain. Cycling is also best avoided because you’ll need to stoop and hold the handlebars for long periods.

Golf, badminton, tennis and other racket sports are a no-no. The twisting of the back and trunk that often accompanies these sports will worsen your back pain. These are high-risk activities.

Avoid other activities like gardening, and household chores which may require lots of stooping and bending your back for prolonged periods.

If you follow the tips in this article, you’ll have a back that’s strong, healthy and less prone to back pain. Even those suffering from back pain will notice that their pain diminishes and may even disappear once they get more active.


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