The Importance Of Staying Active If You Have Back Pain

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Cyclist riding bicycles down hill on country road

If you develop a new back pain or have been dealing with a chronic condition on and off for some time, you may want to lay in bed and relax when pain makes movement uncomfortable. In the immediate short-term, rest can help to protect the area from additional injury, but in most cases, controlled activity and movement is what will help to drive home long-term recovery. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the importance of staying active if you’re dealing with back pain.

How Movement Can Help Treat Back Pain

Resting is the easy thing to do when back pain makes movement uncomfortable, but rarely does rest alone treat the root cause of pain. As always, it is best to follow the advice of a spine specialist who can view your condition in person, so it’s important to realize that movement and activity may not be the perfect solution for your individual issue. That said, here’s a look at why movement is often so beneficial for a variety of spinal conditions.

  • Improves Circulation – Movement gets the heart pumping oxygenated blood more efficiently to areas of your body that need it to function properly. Regular exercise ensures that nutrient-rich blood is never in short supply to areas that rely on it or need it to aid in recovery.
  • Healthy Weight – Movement and exercise can help us lose weight. Your spine is tasked with helping disperse the pressure of your body weight, so if we lose some extra pounds, there will be less strain on our spine. At a minimum, regular exercise can help avoid weight gain, which would put additional stress on our back.
  • Ideal Posture – Movement oftentimes forces our bodies into a more natural posture than when we’re seated. You’re much more likely to have ideal posture if you’re walking around your neighborhood than if you’re hunched over at a desk or sinking into your couch watching television. Staying in one position, even if you’re seated and it doesn’t feel like you’re straining your back, can force muscle groups to be stressed for an extended period, which can contribute to back pain. Moving helps you maintain an ideal posture and avoid prolonged periods of static pressure on your back.
  • Strengthens Muscles And Ligaments – Oftentimes our back problems are the result of an area of our spine that is unable to handle the stress you put on it. You may think the best way to handle this issue is to limit how much strain you put on your back, but a better technique is to move and exercise in order to strengthen these tissues so that they can better handle the pressure you put on it. Strengthening these areas with movement and exercise helps to stabilize your spine and prepare it for future stress.
  • Decreased Stiffness, Improved Mobility – Finally, sometimes our back discomfort is simply the result of stiff muscles or our overall lack of flexibility in an area. Movement helps to increase our range of motion and makes it easier for muscles to transition from an inactive to an active state, decreasing stiffness. Get moving to improve your spinal flexibility and alleviate stiffness that could be contributing to your back pain.

When it comes to increasing your activity, remember that it doesn’t need to be extremely laborious or high-impact. Activities like walking or swimming can do wonders for your spine and they won’t overly stress it during movement.

For more information about how you can use movement to overcome your back pain, or to talk to a specialist about your spinal discomfort, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today at (651) 430-3800

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