Exercises for Back Injuries
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The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends exercise to help you recover from your back injury. Regaining flexibility and strength may help you return to your normal activities more quickly and may help you avoid re-injury. General fitness exercises may work to improve range of motion and provide functional conditioning.

Significance

According to FamilyDoctor.org., doing activities that you’re not used to may put you at risk for injury. Strengthening the muscles in and around your back will increase support, decreasing stress to your joints. Stretching exercises decrease the pain/spasm cycle that occurs when you are injured. Improved overall fitness decreases the amount of work required by your body while performing activities, allowing for improved bio-mechanics and a quicker return to normal after injury.

 

 

Strengthening

Back strengthening exercises will include your entire core. Your core muscles are the muscles from your hips to your shoulders. After an injury, low level abdominal work, such as the pelvic tilt, will allow you to initiate core strength without stressing your back. Stability exercises such as the superman — raising your opposite arm and leg at the same time while prone or on your hands and knees — are also beneficial.

Stretching

According to Sports Injury Clinic, tight hamstrings can lead to low back pain and postural problems. Tight muscles in the upper back and neck are attributed to upper back pain and injuries. Stretch the hamstring and low back muscles with single knee to chest stretching and gentle seated single leg toe touch exercise. Head tilts alleviate upper back tightness and pain. Tilt your head so that your ear moves toward your shoulder, while looking straight ahead. Bending your neck forward, while tilted to the side, will change the area of stretch.

General

Low-impact cardiovascular exercise may be beneficial as you recover from your back injury. Walking, swimming and riding a recumbent, or supported, stationary cycle are activities that allow you to increase your general fitness while improving your back health.

Considerations

Use caution and proper techniques while performing your exercises. Using pain as a guide will help you stay within your limits. If an exercise is painful, decrease intensity until it is comfortable. Seek medical advice if your back injury creates numbness or tingling, or does not improve.