Exercise and lower back pain

In my experience lower back pain is by far the most common injury people mention when recording medical history as current aches and pains are taken into consideration whilst devising a training program. This is the reason I have decided to target this injury in my article today.

I would like to touch on the topic of lower back pain in general, too many people get confused between lower back soreness and a lower back injury. If you are an active person, who uses some form of resistance training in your regular exercise program, chances are that you have experienced muscle soreness at some point in your life. Whether you have sore legs from a run you completed or your shoulders are pulling up a bit stiff after a weights session from the day before, I’m guessing everyone has experienced this at some point. 

I don’t know what it is but there is something about the back that just makes people panic. Your back is full of muscles just like every other part of your body, meaning it can get sore as any other part of your body can. All I’m saying is just because your back feels a bit tight don’t automatically assume you have injured yourself, if it flares up after exercise (and it’s not a sharp or lasting pain) try and give it some movement and a stretch and see if that relieves any of the discomfort, if not then it may be time to take into consideration some other methods.

Unfortunately as soon as most of us get some discomfort in our lower back the most common response we get, either from our own heads or from the mouths of others, is to give it some rest. Little are people aware that giving it too much rest is often what causes these issues to begin with. Nothing fixes most muscle injuries as much as movement, whether the movement is corrective exercises, strength building exercises or stretching.

By far the most common lower back injury is mechanical pain (stress and strain to the muscles in the vertebral column) this is most often caused by poor posture or improper working conditions. Studies has shown exercise as being the number one treatment for this condition. A properly devised and supervised training plan can not only help you work around your injuries, but help to improve them. Such a program should include increasing abdominal strength, exercises to release hamstring tightness and strengthening the muscles that support the spine. 

My tips are for the general population and are not suited to anybody with an ongoing back injury, consulting with your doctor or other health professional before undertaking a new exercise program is always highly recommended.

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