Why Exercise is Important for Lower Back Pain
When you have lower back pain, the last thing you might expect your chiropractor to advise is exercise. But moderate exercise is very important for relieving and preventing lower back pain.
Exercise helps build up the core muscles in the body that support the spine. If the muscles surrounding the spine are strong, the spine will be more flexible and less prone to pain. Exercise also helps increase flexibility in the body through both the muscles and the spine. In fact, a lack of movement or flexibility in the spine is often the worst thing for lower back pain. Exercise helps to lubricate the discs of the spine so that your body can bend and move easily and painlessly.
Is it safe to exercise with lower back pain?
When pain is due to a muscle strain, like stretching too far or lifting too much weight, resting for a few days to let the inflammation subside is often a good idea. But extended rest can result in muscle weakness and join inflexbility leading to even more pain and other possible complications.
In most cases of muscle strain, usual activities should be resumed within 24 to 48 hours following injury, and movement typically relieves pain and muscle spasms. If you're in a lot of pain, physical therapy or massage may be a good option for muscle strain.
Conditions other than muscle injuries can lead to lower back pain. These conditions are often the reason patients seek chiropractic treatment. If you're suffering from lower back pain due to these conditions, then exercise, rather than rest, in addition to chiropractic treatment can help relieve pain. Exercise in this case, helps increase spinal mobility and strengthens the muscles around the spine.
Your chiropractor or naturopathic doctor may recommend core-strengthening exercises, in addition to chiropractic adjustment, for conditions like:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated discs
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Lumbar lordosis
If your physical therapist or chiropractor has recommended exercise for your lower back pain, but it's hard to get motivated, try looking outside the gym or fitness club. Some of the best exercise doesn't feel like exercise at all!
Back-friendly exercise in Redondo Beach
For Redondo Beach locals, there are plenty of exercise, pilates, and yoga studios where you can take classes that are good for strengthening your core and easing lower back pain, in addition to chiropractic treatment.
When the weather is nice, as it is most of the year, check out these outdoor exercise options:
- Biking: Bike along the Strand in Redondo Beach. Points of interest include the harbor, the Redondo Beach Esplanade, Torrance Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach. If you're feeling ambitious, you can even bike to Venice Beach or Santa Monica.
- Hiking or walking: In additon to biking, you can also walk along the Strand and the Redondo Beach Boardwalk or check out the Hopkins Wilderness Park for hiking.
- Beach Yoga: Yoga has long been known to relieve lower back pain and muscle spasms. Beach yoga classes are offered in Redondo Beach and the surrounding areas.
- Swimming or surfing: Exercising in the water is safe for almost all back pain sufferers. It can relieve your lower back pain while improving your cardiovascular system.
Lower back pain is sometimes caused by other serious medical conditions, so be sure to check with your chiropractor, naturopathic doctor, or physical therapist before beginning any new exercise or activity to make sure it's safe and appropriate for you.