Everyone knows the general health benefits of exercise: lower stress, better health, improved mental health and longer life span are some of the many benefits of regular exercise. What is not as commonly known is that exercise can help relieve back pain and prevent back injury – even healing minor back issues. Exercise is a key component of a healthy lifestyle and when done correctly, the key to a healthy back.
The old train of thought for back injuries was strict bed rest to try to let the back heal rather – limiting motion and the chance to further irritate injuries. However, Jeffrey Goldstein, MD, Director of the Spine Service at the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, has found that limited exercise is actually better to help relieve back pain and hasten the process of back healing. The reason being is that the discs in your back get very little blood or neural supply at rest, while light exercise helps blood flow to the discs in your back, stimulating the healing process.
Positive workouts that help back pain are stretching, yoga, and light walking. Exercises that help muscle relaxation are also a great choice because there is a strong correlation between muscle tightness and back pain. If none of those fit your lifestyle or schedule, there are also a stress relief techniques that could help such as meditation and breathing exercises.
But as with an injury, you should consult your doctor and chiropractor before starting any exercise regimen. While there are workouts that help back pain, there are also exercises that can damage to your back, especially done in excess. The top workouts with potential for back pain are deadlifts, squats, and lunges. However, if done properly, those too can help with overall health, improve spinal mobility, and increase body strength.
The best recommendation is to consult with your chiropractor to plan workout regiment that is right for your current health, lifestyle and fitness goals. They will be able to give you the best advice possible and make workouts safe – for a healthy life and healthy spine.