Over 2.5 million people in the UK suffer from back pain at least once a day, costing us a whopping 12.3 billion pounds!
The unfortunate effects of back pain can generally lead to weight gain, and restricted movement. This in turn strains the back even further.
Many people are under the misconception that resting is best to cure back pain, however unless instructed to rest by your doctor or chiropractor, keeping mobile with back exercise and light cardio helps combat those niggly pains.
So how do you keep slim and exercise without causing further pain?
Diet will play the most important part for people who are suffering chronic back pain (especially lower back pain).
If you are not as mobile, then just keep in mind you are burning less calories and therefore need less energy a.k.a food!
If you don’t like popping pills, try adding flax and chia seeds to your diet. These will help inflammation which can be the main source of the pain.
When constructing an exercise plan start with exercises that can help strengthen the back.
Always start with a light warm up consisting of gentle stretching of the muscles from head to toe.
Crunches can help strengthen your back and stomach muscles and if done correctly will not strain your spine.
To avoid further pain be sure to keep your lower back, tailbone and feet on the floor, using your stomach muscles only to bend your head up towards your knees.
The Bird Dog is also very beneficial. Again using your stomach muscles to pull this manoeuver off to avoid further strain. Don’t feel like you have to use your arms in this exercise, simple leg lifts will be effective enough.
If you can cope with lying on your back then perform a gentle knee to chest exercise without over stretching and always keeping your lower back firmly pressed to the floor.
Also while on your back, facing upwards, try bridging. This is where you press your heels in to the floor and lift hips and lower back up to the ceiling.
To gain maximum benefit, tighten your buttock muscles as you reach up and slowly release on the way back down.
Wall sits can be straining on your thigh muscles but don’t be shy in trying this out.
Lean your back into a flat, smooth wall. Slowly lower yourself until you are almost in a sitting position and then slowly bring yourself back to standing.
Each one of these exercises are about control, so keep it slow and steady!
10 – 15 reps is enough to start strengthening your back.
If you know how to lift properly then you will have no problem using free weights.
If you are unsure then ask one of the trainers at the gym, there are always one or two floating about who will be more than happy to help you get the stature.
To help keep the weight down, it is important to keep up your aerobic exercise. Swimming and walking is the best starting place for anyone suffering from joint pain.
While doing these exercises avoid twisting and always warm down afterwards.
For more information, help with your exercise plan or treatment for back pain call or book in to see one of our highly experienced Musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapists, osteopaths or