Back pain can make it challenging to stay active and energized, especially when you are experiencing symptoms like tightness, aching, and inflammation. Even if you feel discomfort, it is important to exercise regularly. Physical activity can help to ease back pain and reduce stiffness by keeping ligaments and tendons flexible.
When you strengthen your back through exercise, you also help to prevent connective muscle fibers from tearing under stress. It is essential to choose the right activities to ensure you can work out and prevent too much discomfort. The following sports are gentle enough on your lower back to help ease the pain instead of increasing it.
People of all ages enjoy yoga for lower back pain because it offers a combination of cardiovascular, strength, and stretching routines. This mixture of activities helps to increase your heart rate and strengthen your muscles, all without causing too much strain on your lumbar area. Try some of the most popular types of yoga for back symptoms, including Hatha yoga, Iyengar Yoga, and Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT). Yoga classes are available through online apps, streaming sites, and face-to-face classes.
Since swimming is a no-impact form of exercise, it is an excellent choice for those who are recovering from back injuries or surgery. It is also an effective cardiovascular workout for athletes who can no longer run long distances or play high impact sports that lead to back discomfort.
To reap the benefits of swimming for back pain, stick to strokes like freestyle or backstroke. These are less strenuous on your lower back than strokes like the breaststroke or butterfly. Consider wearing a snorkel while you swim, which will keep you from having to lift your head and arch your back. While this activity may be gentle on your body, be sure to take a couple of breaks during the week to ensure you do not aggravate tender muscles or recurring injuries.
Walking for back pain has been long recommended by physicians around the world. While it is beneficial for any back discomfort, it is especially helpful for those who are recovering from a lumbar injury or lower back surgery. Walking away lower back pain is one of the safest forms of exercise—and it is also enough to keep the back muscles active while helping to strengthen the abdominal core.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recommends walking for 10-30 minutes at least once per day when recovering from lower back surgery. Keep the activity interesting by walking outdoors. Spend time in your backyard or a neighborhood park. Bring a water bottle with you while you exercise to ensure you stay hydrated and keep your back muscles healthy.