Is It Safe to Exercise with Low Back Pain?
More than 31 million Americans have lower back pain at any given time. This common health complaint affects people of all ages, from teens to seniors. It is also the primary cause of disability worldwide, leading to missed work, general discomfort, and decreased quality of life. Howe ever, this isn’t an excuse to skip your workouts. Certain exercises can actually relieve low back pain and boost your mobility.
Low Back Pain at a Glance
The back consists of muscles, joints, bones, and ligaments. Any damage to these tissues can trigger low back pain. Ruptured disks, strained muscles, poor lifting form, arthritis, and injuries are common triggers. Stress, obesity, bad posture, and other health conditions can make back pain worse.
About 39 percent of those who experience this problem claim that it affects their everyday life. Low back pain may also interfere with your sleep and exercise habits. This health complaint is common among those who spend long hours at the desk, lift heavy weights, or do physical work. Anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, massage, physical therapy, and chiropractic treatment can relieve your symptoms in a short time. Treatment options depend on the cause and severity of pain.
Can You Work Out with Lower Back Pain?
This condition is common among athletes and regular gym goers. Some only experience mild soreness in the low back area, while others report throbbing pain. However, if your symptoms are manageable, you can keep working out. The key is to avoid any exercises that put stress on the back, such as high-impact aerobics, barbell back squats, tow touches, sit-ups, and T-bar rows.
When struggling with low back pain, let your back recover and then slowly resume your exercise routine. Avoid prolonged sitting, heavy lifting, and any workouts that require bending forward, twisting, or jumping. If your pain is severe, stick to basic activities like walking, stretching, and cycling on a stationary bike. Yoga and pilates may help too. Most asanas and pilates exercises are safe for those with low back pain and can be adjusted to their needs.