When we get back pain usually our first reaction is to rest and take it easy, maybe lie down, until it lessens.
In fact that used to be the very advice that your doctor would give you not so long ago. I was told that by my own doctor when my back problems started.
Of course most of us know now that rest often makes matters worse, a fact borne out by recent research done at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
According to an article by Sue Meredith on the naplesnews.com website, researchers discovered that inactivity undermines the healing process as it “locks up” the body’s movement, worsening the pain and slowing recovery.
Remaining immobile for extended periods of time weakens the muscles, leaving the spine prone to further injury. Therefore exercise is crucial for recovery from backache, and also for protection against future damage.
Sue, a certified personal fitness trainer, recommends various exercises that you can do that will not strain or jolt impacted areas. You can find the article and what she recommends here.
My personal experience is that if you can work through the pain recovery is much quicker and lasts longer. Of course there will be times when the pain is such that rest is the only option, but don’t rest any more than absolutely necessary.
Three Great Lower Back Exercises
Continuing on the exercise theme I have found three excellent exercises on livemint.com that can be done pretty much anywhere, with a minimum of equipment, in just a few minutes.
One does require an exercise ball, but I would guess that most long-term back pain sufferers already have one, if you don’t then get one, there’s loads of stuff you can do for your back using it and they are not expensive.
Lower back exercises are a valuable weapon in our constant war on back ache. They strengthen and stretch the muscles of the lower back, and it is these that are often the most troublesome. They keep us upright, define your posture, and are the platform for almost any activity you can think of.
We hear a lot about the benefits of strengthening your core muscles these days — mainly the benefit of having sexy abs. But I reckon the benefit of having a pain free lower back is much more important to most of us. You can find the illustrated exercises here.
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction and Lower Back Pain
In this article by Linda Fehrs, massage therapist, on the integrative health care site she makes the point that lower back pain is the most common ailment seen by massage therapists, and that sacroiliac joint pain is frequently the culprit.
The problem is that sacroiliac joint dysfunction can sometimes be difficult to identify from other lower back problems such as piriformis syndrome and sciatic pain. Whilst it is always best to consult a professional, there are certain things typically associated with sacroiliac problems.
I’m not going to detail them all here. It’s quite a lengthy list and you’ll find them at this link together with some things you can do to ease the pain.
Unsurprisingly she recommends massage as a therapy. I’m a great believer in massage as an effective relief for back pain and stress, and use it myself.
The point is also made that only a physician or physical therapist can definitively diagnose sacroiliac joint dysfunction, often with the aid of x-rays and/or scans. So use this article as a guide but get professional diagnosis before embarking on any form of treatment.