Exercise for back pain(15 Posts)
What exercise might help with back pain? Mine seems to be worse after sitting at a desk every day for work. Will exercise help or make it worse?
It depends on what you feel you can tolerate, but please try to keep moving. I have a number of prolapsed discs in my lower back, and am usually in moderate pain, sometimes severe. Try to stretch whilst at your desk if you can, an occupational health assessment will help to ensure you are sitting properly. Pilates taught by a good teacher, preferably in a 121 basis will help you to stretch and strengthen your core muscles. If I don't exercise then I seize up and end up with more pain. Good luck, I know how debilitating it can be
I have slipped discs and arthritis.
Walking is bliss.
Jumping up and down is torture.
General advice is swim or walk or yoga (I love Iyengar) or Pilates (with a physio trained decent teacher.)
Also aim to strengthen core. My tummy muscles had separated with DC1 and not come back together. I had physio.
If you think it's just bad posture and tension from sitting incorrectly, have a look on youtube for "Adrienne, yoga for back pain" she's amazing and it very gently stretches you back to a neutral position.
If you think there is more than that going on, the GP should be your first port of call to find out exactly what. I've recently been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease so I know how bad it can get.
Wolfie can arthritis be in the back? I have rheumatoid arthritis but I wasn't sure if this affected the back or not, if I feel it it's usually in my hands & wrists.
Can slipped discs be fixed?
For some swimming is really not a good idea, mainly because most people try keeping their head out of water. It depends where your back pain is and what the cause is.
Your GP should be your first port of call... they will tell you what to avoid.
Then you can look at yoga, postural realignment, muscle strengthening/relaxing etc. knowing you aren't accidentally working something in, instead of out
It must depend upon what's wrong with your back? I have some problems with SI joint (joints?) and have been told to never train with weights again, which has helped, and to do something lower impact than running (but I really like running, shortening my stride has been a huge huge help). I think riding horses is actually pretty good for my back, particularly at walk. It's not really exercise but it is, sort of.
Get to see a physio and get good advice on exercise for you as an individual. I have problems with my hip / pelvis / spine and had a course of physio to gently get my muscles working and moving and have been discharged to carry on those forever and to go to the gym and exercise.
My physio said to me "you wouldn't not brush your teeth for six months. Your body needs to exercise and to move or you will be in pain". That really helped me realise that by not moving and building muscle I was damaging myself more.
Pilates with a good physio - 1:1 also has my vote then moving onto classes. Important to know what is causing the back problem. My life has changed over the past 6 months as I've begun weekly pilates classes. Now feel evangelical about Pilates.
Are you able to get a standing desk instead? I've always been in a desk-based sitting down job and had no end of troubles with my back and hips.
I got one of those standing desks that you can move up/down so you can also sit at it as normal in the expectation I'd stand maybe an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. In reality, I can't remember the last time I put it down. I stand at it all day, every day, and havn't had any pain/problems for a couple of years now. You think it's going to be hard, but in reality, you quickly get used to it, after all, loads of people have to stand/walk all day. If you get the right height, you can actually lean your elbows on it for a bit of a break occasionally to take a bit of the pressure off your legs.
I don't understand how a standing desk doesn't give people terrible back pain. I get an achy back if I stand in a queue or watching football, so how can someone stand at a desk for hours?
I've set myself up with a dynamic workstation, rather than simply a standing desk. The idea is that you don't stand still, but you keep shifting around.
Kelly Starret's book Deskbound or Katy Bowman's Don't Just Sit There are two different takes on the concept.
A simple solution is to set a timer and get out of your chair every half an hour.
Sitting in chairs for prolonged periods over time really tightens the hip muscles (look up the psoas muscle, in particular). You are probably using the chair to support you in that position, which means that you're not using your core muscles to stabilise you most of the day. You will be weak in some areas and tight in others and that combination is pulling on your back and causing you pain.
yeOldeTrout You are right standing still for long periods is not much better than sitting still, but you are more likely to move if you're standing. If standing is difficult then you may have poor alignment. I've improved mine a lot to be able to stand more. Our culture is very centred around sitting in chairs, so most people are too weak to stand for long, have poor alignment and tight hips and a weak core.
you are more likely to move if you're standing
Exactly the point. You're not stood like a statue for hours on end. Because you're standing, you're more likely to go to the filing cabinet or the shredder or copier as and when you need to. When you're sat down, you're more likely to "blob out" and stay there, and pile up tasks and go to the copier, shredder or filing cabinets fewer times because of the perceived effort to get up and go. As said above, you become "dynamic" because it's no longer an effort to move around - unlike when you're sat down. You can do really simple things, like move your waste bin a few feet away so you have to walk a few steps to it rather than have it directly under your desk. And as I said earlier, if you get the height right, you can set it to the height of your elbows and you can lean your arms on it which helps your arms, shoulders and upper back and relieves a bit of the weight from your legs and feet. Standing up is a more natural position for your hips.
I started doing pilates purely for my back pain and within weeks it improved a huge amount.
I also generally feel stronger as a result of Pilates.
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