It’s well-known that exercising improves endurance, strength and overall health. But what happens if these exercise, ends up damaging your own body or, specifically the muscles of your lower back or spine.

Such injuries that result from exercise can result in lower back ache, neck pain, pulled muscles and, less often, the stress fracture. The most common cause is the weight training which also known as resistance or strength training. Injury happens either due to lifting very heavy weights, or not maintaining a proper recommended posture while doing the exercises which results in lower back pain or spine injury. So, it is always essential to inculcate few habits while working out to keep our spine safe throughout our routine.

Warm Up:

Before starting any exercise schedule, doing warm up, is a must. This causes increase in blood flow to our muscles and also increases flexibility of our joints and muscles. This way the muscles can very well absorb the impact of the exercise. Cold muscles without warm up are more prone to get damaged while exercising. So, it is always advisable to warm up for 10-15 minutes. We should start with slow stretching exercises and then gradually move towards intense workout. But while doing all this the slow deep breathing pattern should be maintained.

Use Proper Technique:

Most of the injuries while doing exercises are mainly because of lack of proper guidance and technique. A proper technique is a must for every exercise we do reach its full potential. We should never hesitate to ask for an instructor or trainer, if we have any queries. And whenever we start doing a new exercise, it should be done under guidance. For weight training gradual increase in weights should be practiced. The exercise should be done slowly, at your own pace and should never compete with others or do it speedily to satisfy your ego. It may have hazardous consequences. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Proper Hydration:

Hydration is very important for proper functioning of your muscles and any deviation in it may result in muscular cramps, pain and injury. Proper hydration increases the performance of your workout.

Cooling Down After Exercise:

After every workout session, there should be always proper cooling of the body exercises. This allows your heart rate to settle down and normalize. These include stretching exercises. Take each muscle group at a time and take long deep breathes.     

Other simple measures which can help prevent the development, chronicity, or flaring of your lower back pain are:

  • Staying active
  • Minimizing the consumption of alcohol
  • Getting enough deep, restorative sleep
  • Following an anti-inflammatory diet
  • Avoiding smoking and any form of nicotine intake
  • Managing mental and psychological stress by participating in related therapies

The majority of back sprains that result from exercise are caused by ligaments or muscles that are stretched too far or tear. These small internal injuries could cause stiffness, pain and, sometimes, muscle spasms. In the majority of cases applying ice and over-the-counter pain relief medications will help in decreasing the pain, but it can take from a few days to several weeks. If back discomfort persists or gets more intense or starts to radiate into your leg and arms, think about getting consultation from a neurosurgeon and spine surgeon like Dr. Vishal Bhasme.

When should you make an appointment to see a Spine Specialist?

While most injuries resulting from exercise will not require a trip to the emergency room. There are indications/ symptoms for back pain and related problems with the nervous system require urgent medical attention:

  • The pain in the back gets more severe
  • The pain is felt down one’s leg
  • The back pain can last for more than a couple months
  • Changes in bladder or bowel control
  • Back pain extreme or tension in the head, neck, or the back
  • Loss or weakness in all parts of your body
  • The reflex motions of overactive spasms or reflexes
  • Breathing difficulties
  • A loss, tingling, or numbness feeling in legs, arms fingers, toes, or legs
  • Trouble walking and balance issues

To maintain a healthy exercising routine and protect your back from injuries, consider trying these tips to treat your spine with care.