Exercising With Back Pain

Physical Fitness is a critical component of health.  Studies have shown repeatedly that exercise helps to ward off health concerns such as depression, heart disease, diabetes, and even stroke.  In fact, the risk of stroke has shown to be reduced by as much as 20 percent in those who participate in at least moderate physical activity.  Additionally, exercise can boost energy and improve sleep.  Considering all this, it seems an obvious choice for anyone, but for many there may be pre-existing problems such as back pain that keep them away from the gym.

Of course, when there is an injury to the back, it is typically wise to rest the area for a while and seek treatment.  However, long-term absence from exercise will eventually undermine health and recovery.  For those who suffer from chronic back pain, physical activity should not be avoided.  Instead, it should be used as an additional component of therapy and approached carefully.  Here are a few tips to get started:

Consult Your Physician Before Starting a New Exercise Program

For anyone suffering from chronic pain, it is especially important to seek the input of a physician or chiropractor before starting a new exercise program.  Most chiropractic practices focus not only on obtaining proper alignment of the spine through traditional chiropractic care, they also emphasize healing through lifestyle and exercise changes.  While a patient may feel that they know their limits and what can be done without causing further injury, it is imperative to first consult a medical professional who can determine the exact cause and location of injury and who can recommend a program which will improve rather than exacerbate the condition.

Begin a New Exercise Program Slowly

The exact physical fitness program recommended will depend on the location and severity of the injury.  Once a routine of exercise and stretching has been determined, it’s important to enter the program slowly.  Stick within the doctor’s recommendations for frequency, weight, and repetitions.  If it feels too strenuous or uncomfortable, contact the physician to determine if the routine should be discontinued or slightly adjusted.

Ease Soreness from Exercise

It’s normal to experience delayed on-set muscle soreness (DOMS) within 12-48 hours of beginning any new exercise program.  Don’t let this be a concern or discouragement from continuing, as it is completely normal and will improve with time.  Instead, focus on relieving DOMS through various therapies.  Gentle stretching of the area can be beneficial, and researchers indicate that alternating ice and heat on the affected area at 15 minute intervals can help as well.  In addition to these, Pilates and acupuncture, offered in many chiropractic offices, are also useful for relief. 

A back injury may set you back, but it doesn’t always have to be debilitating.  Proper treatment and a targeted exercise routine can help speed recovery and lead many chronic pain sufferers to relief.  If you have experienced a back injury and are looking for a complete care and rehabilitation program, contact SouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers.  We have convenient locations in Gastonia and Belmont and skilled physicians who are ready to help.