Exercise and back pain - It won't hurt you
People bothered by back and neck problems are often a bit leery of embarking on an exercise routine. They
worry that exercise isn’t safe and more activity will only make their problems worse.
For most people there is nothing to fear. Exercise won’t worsen your condition. In fact, it should do the opposite. In some instances, depending on your situation and what could be triggering your pain, there may be specific movements or activities that your physical therapist suggests you avoid. For the most part, though, exercise
won’t hurt you.
That said you need to be smart. For example, if your back hurts, try and avoid activities over the short-term that place excessive stress on your lower back, such as heavy lifting. When your pain improves, you should be able to gradually return to activities such as lifting, bending and prolonged sitting.
A physical therapist can answer your questions about what activities are safe for you to do and which you might want to avoid. When starting an activity program, you may have a bit more discomfort. Muscles, tendons, ligaments and other structures that you haven’t been using need to get used to being active again. But you shouldn’t experience severe or sharp pain. If you do, stop what you’re doing.
For an in-depth look at back pain with Mayo Clinic experts, try Back and Neck Health, a new book from Mayo Clinic Press. Available wherever books are sold.
Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Aging & Health: Take Charge blog.
Thanks for this post. It’s a good reminder how sedentary we become especially as we age and retire from our lifelong occupations. People need motivation to exercise on a routine basis but once they start, they will be amazed at how wonderful they feel after a short amount of time.
I joined an active senior class 8 years ago after retiring and have consistently attended three classes a week. It’s social and motivating and has led to a daily home routine and I urge other seniors to find a local class at a gym or Y. I had no underlining medical issues and continue to be healthy but I can feel the effects of aging creeping up as I approach my 80th birthday. I have common sense about what I can and cannot do but I refuse to let most things slow me down.
Consistent exercise keeps you limber and helps with pain and improves balance. It’s a boost to you mental and overall physical health. Learn about your body and your limitations and make daily exercise one of the passions in your life.
@imallers As my Dr told me move it or lose it I do exercise 3 times a week but right now have P.T exercises from him daily Tai Chi and Lohan Patting all make me feel better
A great article! Thank you. Becky
I never heard of Louhan Patting and watched a video. So it’s main purpose is to increase blood flow? Sounds like it has the same benefits that a body massage does. This makes sense to me….like waking up a foot with pins and needles that feel asleep.
How are you feeling and how has this helped? I like the breathing part which is a part of my gym class after every cardio set we do.
I’m going to try it…it’s intriguing. I always like how I feel after a good stretching session. What’s the best time of the day for you to do this and do you do it more than once daily? I can see incorporating parts of the routine throughout the day.
@imallers Hi I've been doing Tai Chi with Don Fiore for awhile then added Louhan Patting I do it in morning after bkft I feel better after this exercise. It has for one helped my blood pressure and back I just feel better after I do both. Try this and see how you feel afterwards. I only do it in morning but it might help to do it in evening also Will have to experiment and see but the morning time I spend doing both seems to get me ready for the day.