Low back pain will affect most people sometime in their life, usually during their adult years.
To manage low back pain there are several treatment options. Making sure that you consult a doctor if the pain is getting worse or you cannot move without pain is the best place to start.
Most low back pain will get better with some activity. Avoid positions and activities that increase the pain, use ice and heat to help relieve the pain. Once the back pain is gone there are several things that you can do to make sure that the pain does not come back or comes back less often.
The best way to keep back pain at bay is to exercise. There are several different exercises that you should do to help back pain. Strengthening, cardiovascular exercise and stretching all help to relieve back pain.
By strengthening your core, legs and back you can help eliminate back pain. If your core and back muscles are strong, it will help to keep your spine in alignment and therefore reduce the instances of back pain. Doing core, back and leg specific strengthening exercise will also allow the body to heal by moving oxygen throughout your muscles which helps to keep them healthy.
For strengthening exercises, you should do movements that do not hurt your back and only do exercises that do not increase any pain or discomfort that you might have.
Adding cardiovascular exercises to your routine also helps to decrease back pain. If you are currently experiencing back pain, start with a gentle walk or get in the pool and walk.
Getting in the pool has several other benefits such as being easy on all of your joints. As your pain decreases and your endurance increases start increasing the amount of time you do cardiovascular exercise and if you start to make it a part of your routine you will continue to reap the benefits long after your back pain is gone.
One of the other causes of back pain can be muscle tightness. The best way to increase your flexibility is to stretch. Make sure that you are stretching all of the big muscle groups in your back and legs. Make sure that you are not going to the point of pain and that you are breathing through your stretch. Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds. If you do not like to stretch on your own, or your just no good at it a good place to start is to take a yoga class.
Low back pain can be very painful, fortunately it usually can be resolved quickly and future episodes can be minimized through exercise.
Candace Davidson is the wellness director for the McPherson Family YMCA. She has a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and is an AFAA certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor.