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Exercising to Beat Back Pain

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Plenty of people can power through a few aches and pains during their workout. In fact, some exercise can usually help with muscle soreness, and establishing a continuous exercise habit means that exercise hurts less over time. However, there are certain pains that just can’t be ignored, because doing so is downright dangerous. Today, we’re talking about one of those types of pain: lower back pain.

Lower back pain can mean a lot of things, for the body. It can be a manifestation of menstrual cramps, also known as “back cramps.” Some women experience cramps in the abdomen, but others experience it as lower back pain. But lower back pain can also be the result of traumatic injury to the spin, such as a car accident, strain (such as lifting something too heavy or overextending the spine), or anything that causes a spinal disc to “slip” or move position. Lumbar or lower back pain can also be a sign of sciatica, a condition that occurs when a ruptured or slipped disc presses on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is characterized by pain in the lower back and thighs, because the sciatic nerve carries signals from the nervous system into the legs. Another cause of lower back pain can be a pinched nerve, which can happen when the vertebrae are pinched too close together.

The alignment of the spine is crucial to spine health, and finding proper alignment and posture can help you avoid future injury or stress on the spine. That way, even if you experience a major injury, you’ll have a faster healing process.

So, how do you align your spine? There are plenty of exercises that can help.

Yoga is is one of the best exercises for the spine, because it focuses on core strength, flexibility, and posture. Yoga can re-align the spine by developing the muscles that surround it in the abdomen and sacrum. We offer several yoga classes to help you tone your core and keep your spine healthy, but if you need a quick fix at home because your back is already in pain, try this quick flow from Sadie Nardini:

Pilates is also a wonderful method for toning the core and promoting good posture and spine health. This routine can help you relieve lower back pain, but starting a regular Pilates class at one of our locations can help you prevent the pain before it starts. You can also join one of our many Pilates classes here at WFCC.

Another method of preventing lower back pain is to simply move around more during your daily routines. If you work at a desk, make it goal to get up and stretch once an hour. Bend over and touch your toes. Let your spine stretch out. Do some twists to help bring the vertebrae back into alignment and release tension in the lower back. And remember to stretch your thighs and calves; the muscles in your legs exert tension on the muscles in the back, and looser legs mean a looser spine.

Low back pain can be debilitating, but it is manageable and preventable. With a good routine on your side, you can be pain-free in a matter of weeks, and you can prevent greater injury, too.