Image by: Samantha Evans
By George Lamb
Back pain after workouts can be both excruciating and devastating to your workout routine and the your daily life routine required to get through life. It’s tough to get out of bed, it limits your options in the gym, and perhaps worst of all it can have a negative effect on your bedroom game. For some of us it’s genetic, our parents, our parents parents, and ourselves might all have weak spinal columns ingrained in our blood, but that it isn’t always the case.
The way you’re working out, the way you sleep and even the way you walk can all dictate how your back responds to the stimuli it’s presented with. Fortunately, there are ways to remedy this issue, but first it will require you to make a few changes to your life. And if you’re curious to what these things are, here’s a list of 5 things you can do to put an end to that bothersome back pain.
#1) Keep a Firm Posture
One of the most important things to work on if you’ve been having this trouble as of late is walking with a firm, upright gait. It is important to maintain such a posture not only while you’re walking, but while you’re sitting as well. With the advent of the internet and the multitude of technological advances we utilize, some of us find ourselves spending unnatural amounts of time playing video games and browsing the web. If your body is slumped lifelessly during these long hours it will take a toll on your back’s ability to endure intense workouts, and will look aesthetically unappealing to a majority of the ladies out there.
Poor posture when going about even small activities like brushing your teeth and washing dishes can all equate to back pain. Increasing the pressure on your back by being conscious of your posture and keeping the right amount of curvature in the back will take unnecessary pressure off the nerves and reduce back pain.
#2) Strengthen Your Core
Strengthening your core abdominal muscles will do well to decrease the workload on your back when executing various different types of exercises. If your abdominal muscles are an area of concern, other areas of the body are going to need to pick up the slack, and in most instances it’s going to be the back’s job to carry out this duty.
Compound exercises like squats, dead lifts and bench press are all great exercises that not only target the selected muscle groups, but also aid in strengthening your core muscles.
If you’ve been having chronic back pain due to exercise, perhaps you’ve been spending a little too much time utilizing the machines. While machines are effective for isolating specific muscles, free weights are the ideal option for those of you enduring back problems. When you use dumbbells and barbells your core and abs are almost always being recruited to aid in the movement. This will keep the balance of muscle exertion even throughout your body and lessen the chances of chronic back pain.
#3) See a Specialist
Scott Davis, an orthopedic physical therapist and associate professor at West Virginia University believes seeing a specialist is a necessity to individuals experiencing dreadful bouts of back pain. He says, “There is no magic aspirin that addresses lower back pain in everyone.
Some patients need more core strengthening while others benefit mainly from stretching and improving flexibility. Find a physical therapist, exercise physiologist, or chiropractor who specializes in back care. They will match you with the right exercise plan.”
Apparently, having a unique, individualized exercise plan is essential to overcoming chronic back pain. Different types of exercises have different effects on the body and, therefore, will produce different results. A physical therapist would be able to address your specific issues and supply you with a program that will help with managing any issues you may be having with your trunk.
#4) Improve Flexibility
Stretching before a workout may seem like a nuisance, especially if you’re buzzed off of pre-workout and eager to walk into your regime with vigor in your strides. While often overlooked, a basic hamstring stretch or leg extension can go a long way to loosen up any tension or tightness you may have bundled up in the nerves of your back. This can reduce the stress your back experiences while working out and can aid in enhancing your overall limberness.
#5) Icy Hot Patch
I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the commercials, but the question is do icy hot patches–and products alike–really help ease back pain? Yes! According to many doctors, using cold packs and heating pads within the first 48 hours of your injury can comfort swelled and tender backs. Although doctors are unsure as to whether ice or heat is more beneficial, either or can have the desired outcome with dealing with an injury.
Were you an unfortunate sufferer of chronic back pain after intense workouts? How about giving us a few tips down in the comments section about what you did to overcome the excruciating pain.