Exercise may be one of the last things on your mind when you are suffering from back pain, but it is an important part of recovery and aids in the prevention of future problems. You should always start out easy and gradually increase as tolerated. Some pain is normal with exercise, but the pain should stop when the exercising stops or very soon after. You are the only one who can judge when you are doing too much, don't let any physician of any kind push you beyond what you feel is safe!
Walking is a good exercise to start with, even if you can only handle walking for 5 minutes at a time you should do it and increase as you are able up to 20-30 minutes. Some people enjoy getting their exercise by swimming, this is fine as long as you are careful. The last thing you need to do is over do it or slip on a wet floor and re-injure yourself.
Abdominal crunches are one of the most essential exercises you can do to help relieve and prevent back problems. If you are really lazy and can only manage to do 2 things then you should walk and do abdominal crunches. Abdominal crunches are somewhat like sit-ups but much easier to do and not as harmful to your body. Lay on the floor on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, tilt your pelvis so the small of your back(lumbar area) is pressed against the floor. Put your left hand on your right shoulder and your right hand on your left shoulder. While maintaining your pelvic tilt and arms crossed do a partial sit-up and hold in the up position for a few seconds then lower back to the floor.
Note: when properly doing a crunch you don't need to raise up off the floor too much, remember to keep your lower back flat on the floor. Ask your physician or therapist if you are unsure how to do this exercise. Never put your hands behind your head when doing crunches or sit-ups or you may very likely end up with neck problems!
Weight training is beneficial when done properly, see your trainer or physical therapist to get a custom program specifically for your needs. Aerobic and strengthening exercises will help you recover quicker, help reduce the pain you are having, and will also help to prevent future back injuries. Remember to take it easy to start with and increase gradually.
a Healthy Back!
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