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Train body and mind — April 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Should You Exercise If You Have Lower Back Pain?

Everyone experiences injury from time to time, and almost everyone in the world has their own personal philosophy about pain management and recovery. Back injuries are more common than almost any other bodily strain, and it can make every aspect of life painful and inconvenient. The big question for many is whether or not they should be exercising while they are dealing with lower back pain. You might be nervous about compounding your pain by pushing yourself through workouts, but exercising can actually be very beneficial for dealing with lower back pain.

Before making any decisions about whether or not to exercise with lower back pain, always be sure to speak with your doctor. You won’t be able to diagnose the underlying cause of your own back pain on your own, nor will you be able to prescribe the best possible treatment and estimate a time-frame for recovery. Your lower back pain might be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition that will be exacerbated by exercise, or it might be a simple muscle strain. Whatever the case, you’ll need your doctor’s advice to determine the best course of action.

If your doctor deems it safe for you to exercise as part of your pain management and treatment plan, proceed slowly and with caution. Another heavy strain could make your pain much worse, and working out with lower back pain often causes weight to shift onto muscle groups that aren’t normally used. If you do any weight lifting, be sure to opt for increased reps with less weight to strengthen your muscles while reducing the possibility of another injury.

Make sure that you maintain excellent posture while you exercise. Lifting heavy weights with bad form is one of the most common causes of lower back pain among athletes. Every exercise should be performed smoothly and without any unexpected movements. Proper form will remove undue strain from your back and help you get the greatest benefits from your workout without intensifying your pain. Train on exercise machines or work out with a spotter to ensure that your form is perfect.

Remember the importance of flexibility for preventing lower back pain and muscle injuries, but don’t push yourself too hard even when stretching. Over-stretching is just as harmful as not stretching at all. When dealing with lower back pain, incorporate mellow stretches like passive extensions and side bends into your routine. Don’t force yourself into any unnatural positions, and listen to what your body tells you. Pain management doctors all over the world will tell you that if a stretch causes you pain, you should stop doing it immediately. Take it easy on your body.

Exercising while you have lower back pain can be very beneficial to the healing process, but only when done sensibly. Pushing yourself too hard will only lead to further injuries, and irresponsible workouts will cause more pain. Listen to your doctor and your body. Ease into your exercise routine slowly, and be sure to give your back the rest it needs.

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