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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Back Pain After Exercise...Common Causes And Treatment Options

Is it normal to feel lower back pain after a hard workout?
If you are experiencing back pain after exercising or playing sports, you need to take it seriously.After working out a bit too hard at the gym, back pain might be inevitable. However, suffering from chronic back pain after exercising can make it difficult for you to maintain a regular workout routine and stay in shape. It also might make you more prone to back injury.
  • Causes:

Back pain can be caused by toning a muscle without stretching it afterward. Be sure to also stretch your back if you do back strengthening exercises, and alternate toning different muscle groups every other day to give those muscles a rest.
  1. Acute Injury: Although injuries to the upper, or thoracic, area of the back can occur from exercise, most sports-related back injuries are to the lower lumbar region. Acute, or short-term back pain, can be caused by lifting excessive weight, twisting or bending during a strenuous workout, or contact during a sports game. Symptoms can include a sharp pain, a dull ache, swelling, limited range of motion or difficulty standing upright.
  2. Strains or Pulls: When the muscles in the lower back are strained, inflammation and muscle spasms can occur. Luckily, you can heal this type of injury fairly quickly, with rest, anti-inflammatory medication, ice and heat. Lying down usually helps relieve severe pain in most situations.

  3. Overuse of muscles, ligaments, facet joints, and the sacroiliac joints.
  4. Pressure on nerve roots in the spinal canal. Nerve root compression can be caused by
-A herniated disc, often brought on by repeated vibration or motion (as during machine use or sport activity, or when lifting improperly), or by a sudden heavy strain or increased pressure to the lower back.
-Osteoarthritis (joint degeneration), which typically develops with age. When osteoarthritis affects the small facet joints in the spine, it can lead to back pain. Osteoarthritis in other joints, such as the hips, can cause you to limp or to change the way you walk. This can also lead to back pain.

-Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis, vertebra defects that can allow a vertebra to slide over another when aggravated by certain activities.
  • Treatments
  1. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can help knock out the swelling, which can provide immediate relief. For a severe injury, a doctor might prescribe steroids or narcotics, according to the American Academy of Orthaepedic Surgeons website. You can try applying ice to the injury immediately, then alternating with a heating pad to loosen tight muscles around the injury.
  2. Bed rest can help relieve the symptoms, but doctors do not advise resting more than two or three days. After that, it is best to begin recovering range of motion and re-gaining strength by doing simple back exercises and working back into an exercise routine.
  3. If you don't have a serious back problem, you can try several ways to manage this pain and prevent it from coming back.
Step 1
Lay on your back on the floor with feet flat and your knees bent. Tilt your pelvis up so your back arches. Then, pull in your stomach and tilt your pelvis down so your back is flat against the floor. Be gentle in this stretch so you don't hurt your back further. Pelvic tilts will stretch out your lower back and get rid of your pain faster, according to

Step 2
Stretch out your arms to loosen up your shoulders and upper back. While standing, raise your arm straight up and lean in the opposite direction, stretching your side and back. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other arm.

Step 3
Perform the cat stretch to relieve back pain, according to Position yourself on your hands and knees and relax your stomach. Then, arch your back slowly, really feeling the stretch. This should not hurt. Return to the starting position and repeat as many times as you feel comfortable.

Step 4
Ease up on your routine. If your back feels very stiff and sore after every workout and stretching doesn't help, lay off of your routine for a few days until the pain goes away.

Step 5
See a doctor. If your pain doesn't go away or repeatedly comes back each time you work out, consult a physician or a doctor immediately before continuing any exerciseto make sure you don't have a more serious problem.
  • Massage Therapy

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, research shows that massage therapy provides several important health benefits, including:
•Massage improves blood circulation, which aids in recovery of muscle soreness from physical activity.
•Massage relaxes muscles for an improved range of motion. The muscle relaxation can also helps with insomnia.
•Massage leads to increased endorphin levels. The increase of endorphin levels is actually one of the greatest benefits of massage therapy. Endorphins are the chemicals the body produces that make you feel good, which is very effective in managing pain.

  • Core Exercises
Everyone has three groups of muscles that support their spine during exercise or movement: extensors in the back and glutes; flexors in the deep abdominal muscles and hips; and the obliques, side abdominal muscles that rotate and stabilize. According to, most of us do not strengthen these muscles enough during daily activity, we need to target these deep core muscles in order to protect our back and do our workout routine safely.
There are dozens of abdominal- and back-strengthening exercises, and a physical therapist or personal trainer can walk you through many of these exercises. Just a few to include in your weekly workout: back extensions, hip flexor stretching, abdominal planks, sit-ups or crunches, bicycles for obliques, and deadlifts for strengthening and stretching the hamstrings. Add these core exercises to your routine, and your lower back pain will be a thing of the past, allowing you to do your workout without risking injury.

Core strength training can be an important part of an exercise routine designed to treat back pain. Before you start a new exercise routine, talk to a physical therapist to be sure that your workout is designed to prevent further back pain or injury.

Working your abdominal muscles and supporting your core strength can reduce the severity or completely eliminate your back pain. You can help prevent back injuries by developing a strong core. Working your abdominal muscles may even help you avoid back surgery for your back pain.

Time Frame
Add core strength training to your regular exercise regimen to relieve back pain. Aim for spending 10 to 20 minutes per day working your abdominal muscles to strengthen your core and support your back. Perform your abdominal exercises in sets of three to five repetitions at least four days per week. It may take up to six weeks of working your core muscles for you to experience back pain relief.

''Yoga, Pilates and Tai chi can build your abdominal muscles and give you relief from back pain'' chiropractor Thomas Hyde writes for Spine-Health. You can build muscles in your core through strengthening exercises such as sit-ups and leg lifts as well.
  • Considerations
If you think your abdominal workout might be worsening your back pain, talk to a personal trainer. By focusing too much attention on working just some of your abdominal muscles, you may actually do more harm than good, fitness writer Gretchen Reynolds states in the New York Times. Work all of your abdominal muscles equally by performing core-strengthening exercises to support your lower back muscles while you work and keep your spine in alignment.

Have a great day everyone! :)


hann said...

Some core workouts that target the decrease body. When performing these workout routines, several areas of the physique are labored altogether making it an efficient method to work out.

Nancy Frye said...

It’s very useful information. I really like your post. There are many people in our society and close who suffering from different kind of pain such as neck pain back pain ,lower back pain , shoulder pain . For more information you can check this site Las Vegas Back Pain Relief