Exercising with Lower back pain
Do you know the most common complaint among weekend warriors, serious athletes, and the average recreation exerciser? Aside from being hungrier than the average person, many athletes deal with lower back pain at some point in their lives. Whether it manifests as an ache on one side, a shooting pain down the butt and legs, or general soreness in the low and mid-back area, lower back pain can be a serious barrier to getting fit.
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
- Picking a weight off the floor or setting one down incorrectly.
- Bending from the back rather than bending from the knees.
- Performing a high amount of impact based movement before the body has warmed up, or before the body is fit enough to absorb the impact.,
- Repeatedly bending and extending the low back by doing hundreds of crunches or low back extensions, two popular exercises that can be over-utilized.
- Exercising on equipment that is not properly set-up. Whether on a bicycle or weight training machine, one of the most common errors is improper seat height. For more on seat height, read the article “How to Use Weightlifting Machines.”
How to Exercise with Lower Back Pain
The severity of your injury will significantly affect which exercises you are able to perform. For example, if you have debilitating pain that keeps you completely couch-ridden, you will likely need to wait several days before doing anything other than standing up and sitting down. However, if your pain is manageable and you can stand, walk, and lift light objects, you can easily stay fit with the following modes of exercise:
Aqua jogging: I have a comprehensive article about aqua jogging on my blog. Because this form of cardio is non-weight bearing, there is very low impact on the back. Furthermore, the water can actually help to relieve pain. You can perform one to five minute intervals of hard water running followed by easy water jogging, or you can do a series of short water sprints followed by long periods of aerobic movement or swimming.