A person exercising with back pain

Can I exercise with back pain?

You’ve woken up with the worst back pain imaginable. The only issue is that you were planning to train for an upcoming half marathon or go to a yoga class with friends.

Should you lace up those trainers or take a paracetamol and go back to bed?

Staying active is important when you’re experiencing back pain. While it can be tempting to lie down and do nothing, this can make the pain feel worse as you’re increasing pressure on your spine. Plus, excessive rest can make your back muscles stiff and sore, compounding the issue.

Exercise can strengthen your muscles and increase blood flow, accelerating healing. Studies have also shown that aerobic exercise increases the body’s production of endorphins, which naturally reduce pain levels!

Great exercises to do when you have back pain

When you have back pain, doing the right kind of exercise is essential. High-impact activity, or sports which involve you twisting your back, can make things worse.

This means putting your marathon training session on hold until you feel better. However, a gentle yoga class is okay!

Here are some great exercises to do when you’re feeling pain in your back:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Tai Chi

Avoid these exercises unless your doctor says it’s okay:

  • Running and jogging
  • Contact sports like football or rugby
  • Dancing
  • Golf
  • Tennis and badminton

Can you lift weights when you have back pain? When done safely and in the right conditions, weight training can help with pain relief and strengthen your body. However, it’s essential to start on lighter weights, exercise slowly, and avoid abrupt moves or bending.

Listen to your body while exercising – it’s okay not to do a specific move if you think it will hurt your back.

How to exercise with back pain without hurting yourself

  • Stretch thoroughly before getting started, and cool down once you’re done
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • You might feel some mild discomfort when you start exercising, but this pain will disappear as your body warms up. However, if you experience short, sharp pain or mild pain that lasts longer than 15 minutes, stop

Pain relief after exercising

You’ve completed your exercise, but you’re still feeling achy. What next?

Over-the-counter pain medication can help relieve your symptoms. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen are good for muscle pain but do cause side effects like stomach irritation and heartburn in some people.

Ice is excellent for pain relief – it’s no wonder why professional athletes take ice baths! If an ice bath isn’t an option, a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel can reduce soreness and swelling.

A massage after exercise can help improve recovery and boost blood flow to muscles. Our FitWheel Massage Wheel provides affordable relief and is fully portable, so you can take it anywhere.

In conclusion: It’s okay to exercise!

When you’re suffering from a bad back, you might want to lie down in front of the television or curl up in bed with a good book.

However, light aerobic exercise can strengthen your muscles, speed up healing, and make you feel much better!

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