Your body is designed for movement. But modern life frequently may find you sitting or being sedentary – behind the wheel, at your desk or just on the couch – for unhealthy amounts of time. Unfortunately, back pain can be triggered by inactivity and the accompanying decrease in physical strength. Here’s one simple secret to prevent back pain: get up and move.
Your back muscles allow you to stand upright, twist, stretch and rotate. To prevent back pain, you need to keep those muscles strong and flexible. You should be able to do all your normal activities easily and free of pain. Daily movement is the surest way to protect and strengthen your back while improving your overall health.
Get Up and Go to Strengthen Your Back
The simplest way to strengthen your back is by walking. You don’t need a gym or exercise equipment to walk. Walking is an excellent low-impact exercise that helps prevent back pain by strengthening the muscles in your core, legs and back.
Walking promotes flexibility and an increased range of motion that make everyday activities easier to manage. Your bone density increases when you participate in weight-bearing exercises like walking. Greater bone density in your spine helps prevent osteoporosis, too. Other activities proven to help you avoid back pain include:
- Exercise, particularly core and strength training
- Tai chi
Remember that you don’t need to start out by exercising 30 minutes a day. If you’re just getting going, simply adding five to 10 minutes a day of physical activity can help you eliminate back pain. As always, consult your spine doctor before starting any exercise program to make sure you won’t injure your back, especially if you’ve had surgery or treatment for back pain in the past.
The Benefits of Movement
Movement and exercise for your back provide more benefits than just preventing back pain. Medical research indicates you can achieve greater flexibility, better posture and increased support for your spine, making everyday activities easier. You’ll also find your sleep and overall health improves too.
Moving your body increases the flow of blood throughout your body, delivering more nutrients, oxygen and other healing properties. Daily movement is one of the best preventative measures you can take to have a healthy, strong back, not to mention the benefits to the rest of your body. If you’re inactive when you hurt your back, your recovery time can actually increase, leaving you in pain longer than necessary.
The Bottom Line of Back Pain
Back pain is the second most common cause of disability in the U.S. About 29 percent of adults suffer from back pain occasionally or as a chronic health problem. Preventing back pain could save $85 billion a year in medical costs, plus an additional $10 billion due to lost time and wages. The doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute help you avoid the suffering and financial loss of back pain with targeted physical therapy and exercise recommendations to keep you moving and healthy.
If you don’t want your back hurting, you’ve got two choices:
- Stay inactive, reducing your physical movement while trying to avoid hurting your back
- Get moving to prevent back pain, strengthening your entire body