Back exercises are specific activities designed to improve the condition of the back muscles and reduce the severity of back pain symptoms. In other cases, exercise may be designed to prevent injury or re-injury by strengthening muscular and connective tissues. These special exercises may be done unassisted or with the help of a qualified fitness trainer or physical therapist.
While vigorous activity is recommended as part of a health maintenance program, do not expect miracle pain relief from exercise therapy. Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program to be sure you do not do more harm than good or take part in any activity which may be contraindicated for your particular condition or diagnosis.
This resource section profiles a range of activities that can be used to relieve back pain using all-natural exercise therapy.
I am a lifelong student and teacher of martial arts and a fitness trainer for decades now. I do not need to be convinced that exercise is absolutely vital to living a healthy and happy lifestyle.
It is preaching to the choir.
I love the idea that some patients will benefit from physical activity and I encourage all who are able to become more active to talk to their doctors or their local trainers about designing a customized plan to get them in the best shape of their lives. The rewards are great! However, reality rears its head and speaks loud and clear on this topic, as well.
Statistics clearly show that the average person who takes physical therapy as a treatment for back pain will not enjoy a cure. In fact, some get worse with exertion, while most enjoy temporary benefits which last a few hours and then the pain returns again. This is the typical case profile of a chronic pain sufferer. It is also my own experience, even exercising daily for all of my life.
Back and spine exercises are an important part of living healthily. Learn more about how exercise can help to prevent and treat back pain in the reports below:
Exercises for back pain form the foundation of modern physical therapy practice.
Lower back exercises focus effort on the lumbar region.
Back stretches can be used to warm up or to increase flexibility after a workout.
Pilates for back pain is a form of strenuous exercise that works the core muscles extensively.
Swimming for back pain is an effective no-impact exercise that helps many patients to function better,
Yoga for back pain combines flexibility training with a full body workout and also includes mindbody components.
Posture exercises are useful for fending off pain that is caused by poor bodily positioning.
Weight lifting back pain is a very common occurrence during serious resistance training.
Skiing back pain can ruin this popular winter pastime for amateur fun-seekers and competitive professionals alike.
Gymnastics back pain can be caused by serious spinal and muscular problems in the youngest of patients.
A back exercise program might be centered around individual specific exercises and stretches recommended by a doctor or physical therapist. However, a better idea is to incorporate your back pain exercises into an activity that is enjoyable and multi-beneficial.
An activity that will improve your general physical, mental or spiritual health is preferred over simple calisthenics. Patients will be more interested in a theme based program. The greater the patient’s interest, the better the results will typically be and the longer the patient is likely to actively participate in the program.
Normal movements that you do during an average day all count towards exercising your back muscles. Just the act of standing upright is a constant workout for some muscles. It may be a good idea to do specific exercises if you have back muscle pain. Exercise will increase muscular strength, flexibility and range of motion. All of these traits are important to maintain healthy and pain-free muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Exercise also increases circulation of blood and oxygen to the back muscles. Many back pain syndromes are caused, or worsened, by oxygen deprivation. This is the reason why I believe many patients with misdiagnosed structural issues, which are blamed for causing pain, respond so well to physical activity. The blood fights the oxygen deprivation, albeit temporarily. The ischemia is reversed for a time and the pain resolves.
Unfortunately, once circulation returns to normal, the symptoms begin anew, helping to explain why the benefits of exercise only last a few hours for many back pain sufferers, myself included in this sample.
It should be noted that increased circulation also removes waste products, such as lactic acid, from the back muscles. These waste products can cause pain and cramping if they remain in the muscles. While this is not a likely explanation for chronic pain, it may be contributory in some patients, particularly those with muscular or circulatory abnormalities.
Exercise is a valuable tool for building a strong body. Muscular back pain can often be prevented, or reduced, using a comprehensive program of specific back exercises. I am a firm believer in the power of exercise to also help create a positive mental state. A healthy body helps to create a healthy mind and a positive spirit. All these attributes are necessary to overcome any form of chronic back pain. Finding a program that suits your interests may just help to rid yourself of some types of symptoms.
Just understand how and why back exercises may and may not work to treat chronic pain effectively. Know their limits and understand how your diagnosed condition may benefit or suffer from regular physical exertion.
The best way to discover this is by first consulting your physician and then working closely with a physical therapist to take you through some trial and error testing using various forms of prospective exercise therapies.
Once you can narrow down what helps, what hinders and what does nothing, you might just discover that regular activity may be able to reduce your dependency on pain management medications and may even provide the best hope for regular symptomatic resolution.