How Not To Exercise Your Spine

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 1, 2020

Flat-Back

We’ve provided many examples of great ways to strengthen your spine and keep it healthy as you age, but this time around, we want to shine a light on some of the activities and exercises people perform that can actually do more harm than good for your spine. Reconsider your activities or consult with a spine specialist if you perform any of the following actions on a regular basis.

Activities That Can Stress Your Spine

Many people mistakenly believe these actions can help their spine, or they may simply be misinformed as to how the activity can actually cause problems for their spine. Here’s a look of four activities that should be on your radar, especially if you have spine pain.

  1. Overreliance On Pain Meds – Pain medications can play a pivotal role in helping you get your back pain under control, but keep in mind that they will not target the root problem. They can help mask inflammation, but they aren’t going to remove the bone spurs or facilitate healing in the spinal nerve that’s causing pain. Make sure you are pairing pain medications with treatment actions that help the underlying problem heal.
  2. Overlooking Their Core – The arms and legs often get most of the attention at the gym, but if you’re regularly ignoring your spine or your core during your workouts, you may be putting yourself at risk for injury. Make sure you perform plenty of core strengthening exercises during your workouts, because these muscles help to stabilize your spine and keep vertebrae and discs in the right location. Only switching between arm and leg day at the gym can cause problems for your spine.
  3. Inversion Tables – There has been a lot of debate over the risks and benefits associated with an inversion table and its ability to help with spine pain. We’re not going to give a definitive answer one way or another, but we will say this; if you are considering using an inversion table, make sure you talk with a spine specialist first. These tables aren’t designed to address all forms of back pain, and used incorrectly, it can make your spine issue much worse. Consult with a professional before trying an inversion table for your spine pain.
  4. Too Much Of Anything – We don’t need to rehash how a sedentary lifestyle and long hours sitting down can cause problems for your spine, but it’s not just extended hours sitting that can cause problems, it’s any activity in excess. Sit-to-stand workstations have become popular, but the benefits of this station diminish if you stand all day instead of sitting all day. Variance is key, so take breaks, switch it up throughout the day and allow different muscle groups to be engaged and rest. The same can be said for sport. Too much athletic activity in too rapid a succession without warming up is a recipe for spine pain. Make sure you prepare your body so it’s ready for activity before tryouts, practices or games begin.

Be mindful of these activities and actions going forward, and reevaluate your lifestyle if back pain begins to develop, especially without an obvious acute cause. For help with all your spine issues, from diagnosis to treatment, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.

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