Nothing can put a damper on your exercise regimen faster than a sore back: whether you just tweaked it a little or you have chronic back problems, trying to stay in shape can be tough when every move you make hurts.
But you don’t have to stop exercise altogether if you have back problems. You just need to be a little more careful. In fact, moving around can actually help your back heal faster, as it gets your blood flowing and gets oxygen to your aches to sooth them more quickly than if you decide to lay around until you feel better. Here are some mistakes to avoid while exercising if you have back problems so you can get back to your regular routine in no time.
Pushing too Hard
This is by far one of the most common mistakes to avoid, especially if you don’t experience back pain very often. Sometimes, if you just tweak your back a little, you think you can keep going and it’ll work itself out.
Unfortunately, this isn’t often the case. Many times, you can do even more damage if you think nothing is wrong. Instead, go a little easier than you normally would. You can even replace your exercise routine with walking or lightly jogging, depending on how bad your back hurts. Also, try not to use free weights or anything that requires you to lift a lot of weight from the floor, as this can easily exacerbate your pain.
If your pain worsens, then stop working out altogether and consult a doctor.
High Impact Workouts
High impact exercises include running and jumping, as well as casual activities like dancing. These activities put a strain on your muscles and joints and can really worsen your condition if you have back pain.
Instead of trying these high impact exercise, focus on low impact workouts. Exercise equipment like stair climbers and ellipticals are perfect for people with back problems, as they are low to zero impact and allow you to still get your heart pumping. If you have access to a pool, swimming is a great low-impact workout that you can enjoy as well, as long as you don’t feel your pain worsening.
Failing to Care for Yourself
The most important thing you can do when you’re injured is to take care of yourself.
Before you exercise, stretch to make sure that you will be able to handle to upcoming workout. You can also purchase a foam roller so you can massage your sore areas before and after your exercise routine. The rollers are good for any muscles ache, but they are especially great for bad backs, as you can just lay on them and roll them up and down your back, relieving tension.
Also, make sure that you drink plenty of water to give your muscles the hydration they need to heal.
Don’t let a bad back keep you from exercising. Just be cautious!
Sarah Storey started exercising regularly after she created a gym at home in her garage. She has suffered from some back problems on and off for several years and now knows what she should do, and what to avoid doing.