Back injuries and back pain are common among Americans. If you want to work out and stay in shape, it’s best to follow a fitness routine to protect your back. Your doctors and physical therapists at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) are your best source of correct and appropriate information.
The SSI team specializes in all things spinal. They can help when you’ve had back problems or just want to prevent back pain. When it comes to your back, it’s worth a little extra effort to avoid injuries. Professional guidance at SSI gets you started by creating a fitness routine to protect your back.
Stretching Required Daily
It may be counterintuitive, but medical professionals are finally accepting that exercise and movement can be very good for a sore back. Even so, it’s best to practice caution and to get a fitness routine to protect your back approved by your doctor. One of the most important things to do is to stretch and slowly warm up, no matter what your routine is.
The hip flexors are one of the most commonly overlooked muscle groups for stretching, but they are crucial to protecting your back. If they’re overly tight, they pull your spine out of alignment. But if they’re properly stretched, they can effectively protect your back. Work with a professional trainer to develop a healthy stretching fitness routine to protect your back.
What to Avoid
Don’t settle for just any physical movement as part of a fitness routine to protect your back. Jerky, high-impact movements should generally be avoided. Even if you’re doing something like hitting a punching bag, make sure that your form is correct and smooth before you go full force.
Similarly, when weightlifting, you need to exercise caution. Overexertion is a big cause of back injury, since your back has to carry the weight that your muscles can’t quite handle. It’s best not to push yourself too hard when lifting. And avoid doing a lot of over-the-shoulder lifting, which automatically puts pressure on your spine.
Any exercise that works your core is good for spine health, but also poses a risk for injury. For example, don’t do crunches for your abs, since this motion puts repeated stress on your spine. Planking or leg lifts are much better options.
It’s All About Form
To develop a fitness routine to protect your back, get professionals on board. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t stop thinking about your form. Most back problems related to exercise come from poor form or overexertion. So if you’re standing with your knees locked, for example, you’re likely to put undue pressure on your back, and that can lead to problems. Instead, always keep a slight bend in your knees.
Anything you overdo tends to transfer pressure to your spine if your other muscle groups can’t handle it. That’s why it’s best to be gentle. But it’s also good to realize that in building up the proper muscle groups, such as your core, you’re actually contributing to your back health by giving it extra support and protection.