You might not think it, but weight lifting and spine strengthening exercises can help reduce back pain. Remember the point of this type of weight lifting is not to build up the muscles like a bodybuilder but is to develop:
- Core strength
- Spine strength
- Body strength
The muscles in the back keep the spine moving and functioning properly. When the spine or abdominal muscles are weak this creates a higher probability of a back strain or injury. Having strong, healthy spine muscles are important because they function in maintaining correct posture, which in some cases, causes chronic back pain because of poor posture.
If only one part of the body is strengthened like the back is not enough. Therefore strengthening the rest of the body is a must. These include the body’s core and leg muscles. Total body strength will reduce back pain and can help perform regular activities, like lifting heavy objects much easier, with more confidence and with a lesser probability of injury.
Spine strengthening exercises benefits
Most important reasons are they:
- Prevents future back injuries
- Stabilizes the spine
- Helps the spine move properly
- Help maintain correct posture
- Increases muscle tone
- Teaches correct body mechanics
- Helps build bone this is especially beneficial for those with osteoporosis or at risk of developing it
A personal trainer or sports chiropractor can help start a spine strengthening regimen. They will teach:
Weight lifting exercises.
A physical therapist can also develop a custom weight lifting/strength exercise program for optimal spine health and for reducing pain.
Most workout regimens incorporate a combination of weight lifting with actual weights/exercise machines and strengthening exercises/calisthenics with the body’s weight as the resistance for maintaining a healthy strong spine.
Here are a few weight lifting and back strengthening exercises that can help decrease and prevent back pain.
Talk to a doctor or chiropractor before beginning any exercise program. Remember to listen to your body and stop right away if there is something off.
Push-ups help strengthen the:
- Core muscles
Your own body weight is the resistance.
To do this:
- Position the body in a straight line from head to toe, the face looking down.
- Hands should be wider than shoulder-distance apart. Walk the hands out so they are slightly higher than the shoulders
- Keep the balance on toes and hands, with a straight back, lower the body to the floor by slowly bending the elbows until at a 90-degree angle.
- Push up using arm upper back, and chest muscles.
- Do 3 sets of 10 every day. As the strength increases do more reps.
Chest flies are excellent for building muscle in the:
- Upper back
Dumbbells or a weight machine can be used for this exercise. To do this:
- Lie on the floor with the knees bent and the feet flat on the ground.
- Extend the arms out to either side of the body, and let them rest on the floor.
- With a dumbbell in each hand, raise the dumbbells until they meet at the top at the same time, and keep a slight bend in the elbows.
- Lower the hands to the ground, and repeat.
- Do this exercise 15 times 3 times a week. With added strength add more reps.
Lateral raises help strengthen the entire back. All that is needed is a set of dumbbells. To do this move:
- Stand or sit with the feet equal hip-distance apart. Arms are at the side.
- With a dumbbell in each hand and a slight bend in the elbows, raise the arms to the side until shoulder height. Keep the core engaged during the movement.
- Once at shoulder height, slowly lower the dumbbells, and repeat.
- Repeat this exercise 15 times 3 times a week. As strength increases add more reps.
These exercises should be performed slowly with a gradual build-up to more complex movements and adding more weight. Remember to breathe naturally. If you hold your breath during exercise, it can cause tension in the muscles, which can worsen any pain or create new injuries. Before adding weight or new spine strengthening exercises, talk to a doctor about exercising with back pain. They will let you know if there are certain movements or positions that should be avoided.
Weight lifting exercises done incorrectly can lead to more back pain and added injuries. If there is any pain while doing these exercises, stop and call a doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist right away.
As El Paso’s Chiropractic Rehabilitation Clinic & Integrated Medicine Center, we passionately are focused on treating patients after frustrating injuries and chronic pain syndromes. We focus on improving your ability through flexibility, mobility and agility programs tailored for all age groups and disabilities.
Back Pain Relief | El Paso, Tx
It can be tempting to not exercise with a spinal condition. But remember that if there is no movement at all, you could make the pain worse. Knowing what your body can handle and sticking to a workable schedule, these healthy steps will relieve you and help with back pain.