How to Manage Lower Back Pain After a Workout?

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While back pain is prevalent worldwide, did you know it is more common in women ages 40-80 years old? Your lower back possesses a good amount of strength and flexibility which also makes it prone to developing problems. Due to the number of nerves that run up your spine from your lower limbs, problems in the lower back may also contribute to pain in the legs, hips, and other parts of your body.

Manage Lower Back Pain

The discs in your lower back are often put under a lot of stress, whether you’re physical active or just sitting down, leading to gradual wear and tear with age and increased risk for injury. After a workout, your back may feel stiff and sore. Heavy lifting and improper body mechanics can eventually put too much pressure on your lower back resulting to back pain. Doing exercises and high-intensity workouts without properly warming up can also lead to lower back pain.

In addition to ice therapy and massage, you can use a portable electrical stimulation device such as a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) unit to manage back pain at home and relieve tense muscles.

Managing lower back pain after an exercise

Back pain may be inevitable after heavy workouts at the gym. But don’t worry, you can follow a simple post-workout routine to manage the pain:

  • Do pelvic tilts. You can do this by lying on the floor flat on your back with knees bent. Then, tilt your pelvis up so that your back creates an arch. Gently tilt your pelvis back down on the floor.

  • Arms stretch. Stretch your arms straight up while leaning towards the opposite direction to loosen up your back and shoulders.

  • Cat stretch. Simulate a cat position, with both arms and knees on the floor. Then arch your back like a cat does when scared or threatened.

 

Take your time; you should be able to do these exercises without hurting your back further. If it worsens the pain, take your time by doing them slowly and rest for a few days before stretching again.

Prevention is better than cure

To avoid hurting your lower back in the first place, it is important to:

  • Do core exercises. Having strong core muscles helps your body support your lower back and tolerate increased stress and pressure. Doing cardio exercises also help to increase blood flow to your spine.

  • Maintain a good posture. Having a poor posture puts pressure on your back and possibly cause problems on lower back discs. Sit properly and support your lower back by using ergonomic chairs or pillows.

  • Do lifts correctly. Use the right lifting techniques when lifting heavy objects such as weights. Always bend your knees to allow the weight of the object to spread evenly throughout your body and not just your back.

  • Understand the pitfalls of your chosen sport. Some sports involve using your back for long hours in positions that could lead to back pain such as golf and running.

  • Maintain good overall health. Improving your overall health also improves your spine and back health.

  • Travel smartly. You can hurt your lower back from traveling for long hours on a plane or a car. Make sure you carry a back support pillow and drive safely to avoid vehicular accidents that could injure your lower back.

Exercises that help alleviate lower back pain

Doing exercises that help relieve back pain have lots of benefits. These include the strengthening of muscles in the lower back to support the spine better, improving the circulation of your blood to help distribute the nutrients throughout your body, and relieving pain through the release of endorphins. You can do improvised versions of different workouts to help alleviate back pain.

What is the power of Yoga

  • Hamstring stretch with support. Do hamstring stretches with support instead of tilting your pelvis forward to the floor. Perform your stretches with the heel of one foot on top of the chair.

  • Quadriceps stretch on your side. Stretch by extending your leg in front with the other bent backward. You can also do hurdler’s stretches when lying down with the same effect on the body.

  • Reverse curl-ups. Instead of curling up your upper body, curl your lower limb while lying down. It has the same effect on your abdomen but with less stress to your spine.

  • Walking and swimming. Walking and swimming are low-impact exercises that do not strain your lower back.

  • Use the stairs. Exercising by using the stairs rather than a treadmill helps for better body posture.

  • Planking. Rather than doing crunches, you can perform planking to help tone your belly, especially if you have osteoporosis.

  • Yoga. Yoga relieves chronic back pain and stabilizes the spine, pelvis, and shoulders.

If stretching and applying TENS does not help with your back pain, you should seek medical attention. Your doctor will determine the cause of your lower back pain and prescribe medication and treatment to address the cause.

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