Most of us would prefer staying in bed and resting when hit by a back pain, but that’s more harm than good. A comprehensive workout comprising stretching and aerobics can alleviate back pain and strengthen the spine.
Read here a few stretching and aerobic exercises that can prevent, reduce, and even eliminate back pain.
Stretching exercises are good to maintain the flexibility as they do not just help relieve the pain, but prevent future injuries as well. Keep your back muscles and other supporting tissues flexible and less prone to injury with the following stretches:
Back flexion stretch: Lie on back. Pull both knees to the chest while simultaneously bending the head forward until a comfortable stretch is felt in a balled-up position.
Knee to chest stretch: Lie on back with the knees bent and both heels on the floor. Place both hands behind one knee and pull it to the chest until a comfortable stretch is felt.
Standing hamstring stretch: Stand with the feet flat on the floor. Bend forward at the waist with arms hanging down and with legs straight. Try to touch the toes until a stretch is felt in the hamstring.
Aerobic exercises condition the heart and other muscles, maintain health, and speed recovery. These exercises reduce the occurrence of lower back pain. You can keep your back pain at bay with a routine of the following aerobic exercises:
Exercise walking: As opposed to jogging, exercise walking is tender on the spine and elevates the heart rate like a regular jog. Get a pair of comfortable walking shoes (along with light weights, if you prefer) and move at a faster pace than normal walking. You can also use a treadmill if you like to workout indoors.
Cycling: The pedaling movement of a bicycle is a low-impact aerobic exercise, which has a high impact on back pain. Depending on the severity of your back pain, you can always choose from a bicycle and a stationary cycle.
Swimming: Swimming is a milder form of water aerobics and since it is done in water, it offers natural resistance as you work-out. Swimming has minimal impact on the spine, and hence, is an ideal alternative to workouts on a hard surface.
Exercises to be avoided
Some exercises can aggravate back pain. If you have a persistent low back pain avoid the following forms of workout:
Toe touches while standing.
Bent leg sit-ups or partial sit-ups (curl-ups) when you have acute back pain.
Lifting both legs while lying on your back (leg lifts).
Lifting heavy weight above the waist.
Straight leg sit-ups.
Depending on your lifestyle and personal preference, you can choose the right exercise routine for yourself to improve your flexibility. However, always bear in mind that doing exercises correctly is as important. Also, if any particular exercise causes excruciating pain that doesn’t go away within a week or so, see your doctor without further delay.