Back pain is one the most common afflictions of modern society. Very few people go through life without experiencing some degree of back discomfort at some point. Back pain can be caused by a number of reasons and it is often broadly divided into acute and chronic pain. Acute pain, caused due to a sudden change of physical activity, a muscle strain or pull usually goes away in a couple of weeks. Pain which is persistent and lasts for a considerable time is often referred to as chronic back pain.
Depending on the cause and severity of the problem doctors would recommend the best course of action. Some cases may even require surgical intervention.
However there are a large number of people who suffer from mild to moderate chronic low back pain, very often caused by obesity, long hours of sitting and an incorrect posture. Most sufferers are unwilling to try exercise-it can be either because they are worried that it might aggravate the problem or they are simply too lazy!
Physical therapy can go a long way in helping you manage the pain and to some extent get rid of it permanently. One shouldn’t shy away from exercising, especially strength training. I know it is a taboo and may seem sacrilegious to many. But done correctly it will go a long way in helping you get rid of this nagging problem. Exercising will strengthen the muscles required to keep the spine stable and in its correct alignment. It is imperative to work the gluteal muscles; they will stabilize the lower back or spinal erector muscles. Working on the abdominal strength is also crucial. Some amount of cardiovascular activity to burn off the belly fat would also be necessary. Running on the treadmill may not, however be your best choice. Kettlebell workouts are great to strengthen the back; in fact the entire posterior kinetic chain. However wrongly done, it may aggravate your problems. A qualified trainer would be able to select and help you chose the exercises that are suitable for your particular problems. A study conducted by Lee and Kang in Seoul and published in the Journal of exercise Rehabilitation showed that a combination of strength training and walking was the best way to reduce chronic back pain and improve body composition. It must be noted strength training in acute back pain may not be advisable.
If you are overweight it would make sense to reduce as much extra weight as possible. Lugging on that extra baggage does not make sense. So some thought should be put to your diet and care should be taken to keep body weight at normal levels. Swimming is a great activity for people with back pain. It is gentle yet effective and it may also help to keep your weight in control. Certain Yoga Asanas are also helpful for back pain and should be added to your schedule. There are many stretching exercises which will help to keep the stiffness away.
Some small lifestyle modifications may also help; sitting, standing and walking in the correct posture can go a long way in managing and keeping back pain away. A simple posture correction drill can work wonders for you. Select a good ergonomic chair if you have a sitting job. It may cost more initially but trust me you will save much more in medical bills at a later date! Sitting for long hours at a stretch is a major cause for back pain . Get up and walk around at regular intervals. I hope you don’t use that excuse to go and have a smoke! Back supports can improve your seating posture and you can add it to your car seat also.
The Writer Angshuman Dutta is the CEO and Founder of Transformers Fitness Academy. You can follow him at http://www.instagram.com/angshuman.fitness
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