Today I want to discuss the topic of exercise and back pain…
Last week I had a 51 year old client from Bee Cave ask a question…
And it’s a question our Physical Therapy team get asked often…
“Is it ok to exercise when my back is hurting? I’ve just got into a good routine at the gym and working out three times a week, and I really don’t want to stop…”
I get the frustration, and I also know that the thought of doing any movement at all when you’re going through some kind of pain might feel a bit scary…
You don’t want to run the risk of aggravating it any more in case it turns into something more serious.
You don’t want to go ‘too hard’ in the gym in case you create more pain.
And you don’t want to wake up one day to find that you can no longer get out of bed easily, walk to the bathroom, or even put on your socks and shoes without severe pain.
Having low back pain doesn’t mean you’ve got to be bed-bound, with heat and ice packs until it magically disappears.
You CAN keep moving! In fact, not moving at all can make your back pain worse!Here’s why…
Gentle walking with specific exercises designed to improve lower back flexibility and strength, will make a big overall difference.
Walking is a completely natural movement that keeps your joints mobile and muscles working – even those in your feet, legs, hips and trunk – which play an important role in keeping the muscles in your back that hold you upright and strong.
Stretching combined with walking will improve your back strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn, can help stop back pain from creeping up on you when you least expect it. What’s more, it can also reduce how painful it feels and how much it gets in the way of day to day life.
So here’s the important question to answer now that you know it is ok to exercise even if you’ve got a bad back…
What exercise can you actually do safely? Because of course, too much exercise, or exercise that’s strenuous could make it worse or keep your back inflamed.
Let me Introduce you to Pilates.
Even though there’s false beliefs around Pilates, like ‘you’ve got to be flexible’ etc., etc., etc… you can ditch those false beliefs behind because it’s for anyone!
Let me tell you why – Pilates build strength and flexibility…
Pilates requires you to concentrate on breathing and using specific muscles in the body that have typically stopped working a long time ago. When these muscles are stronger your back pain can be greatly reduced and your postural awareness will improve significantly.
As well as strengthening, Pilates relaxes the body and reduces the tension in your back!
For people with lower back pain, stretching is important. Stretching the muscles in your legs actually help to increase range of movement in your hips, taking the stress off your lower back – which in addition increases blood flow, allowing nutrients to flow in, taking care of the muscles in your back.
It’s also one of the best forms of exercise to maintain and improve a healthy posture. Great for your back, stopping back pain in it’s tracks, and add to that it feels great when you can walk around confident and tall.
So there you have it, gentle walks and Pilates.
Both of these will help you gain back your strength in your back, so you can return to doing the exercise you love the most.
If you want tips for easing back pain, read this free special report with 8 top tips to keep active and fit, moving away from pain pills to a healthy lifestyle…
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