Back pain is no joke. Affecting more than 80 % of the population at one time or another, it’s a problem that can spring up early in life and only gets worse with age. However, unlike other illnesses and chronic pain issues, a lot of the time, there are things that we can do to strengthen our spines and the supporting muscles to reduce, if not eliminate, back pain all together. Regular back exercises actually deliver nutrients to the spine, increasing the quality of the discs, associated muscles and ligaments in the area. Being dedicated to these activities improves alignment, eliminates stiffness and builds muscle in the areas supporting the spine.
The face of yoga has changed over the years, from Eastern cultural roots, to hippy culture, therapeutic activity, and mainstream fitness. However, one thing that has not changed is the profound effect that regular yoga has on the body. From increasing flexibility, building strength, improving coordination and more, it also has been shown to alleviate back pain and improve posture over time. A commitment to regular yoga can decrease pain as well as return mobility to those who were otherwise unable to move without pain.
Though Pilates is not considered as “holistic” as yoga, this form of exercise increases core strength and with an emphasis on lengthening the spine and protecting the neck. The core keeps the lower and middle back in place to minimize slouching and improve posture. The slow and steady movements mean that there is little chance for you to “jar” something while exercising and the low intensity means that it can be practiced every day.
- Exercise Ball Workouts
Though at first glance, many physio ball workouts might seem simple, once you try them, you’ll know otherwise. By using the exercise ball, also known as a yoga ball or a physio ball, you add an element of instability to your workouts, forcing your body to overcompensate in order to keep you steady. This really engages your core muscles, also responsible for propping up your back. Most exercises are simple and low-impact, however expect big results with regular use.
- Custom Physiotherapy
Sometimes traditional workout classes aren’t enough to really target the areas of your back that are hurting. Safe and natural chiropractic care can help with many forms of back pain, and when coupled with a personal physiotherapy program, can elicit quick and effective results. The chiropractor will “tune up” your spine and align it manually, meaning no pinched nerves, slipped discs, or pressure while the physiotherapist will instruct you on how to safely strengthen the muscles and ligaments in your back to hold everything in place properly. This is the quickest way to decrease back pain with exercise, as it caters to your precise pain points, your current state of mobility, and in junction with any other medical treatment you are undertaking, even surgery. However, it is important to continue regularly exercising, even when the one on one sessions are finished, in order to maintain the strength and flexibility of your back for the long term.
While there are a number of reasons for why you could be experiencing back pain in the first place, a large proportion of cases are due to poor sitting posture, lifting heavy objects incorrectly, or even carrying heavy backpacks or bags without the right adjustments. It is worth educating yourself and seeking information on how to maintain a healthy back to avoid having to deal with back pain and all its associated issues later in life. If you are worried about the health of your back, consult your family physician, a chiropractor, or an occupational therapist.