A Healthier Spine Through Exercise
Exercise is one of the best preventative measures we can take to maintain good health. Generally, exercise increases physical strength and improves longevity. Specific exercises can also address and improve many types of spine pain.
When our back hurts, exercise is often low on our list of treatment options. Many people try to ease back pain with bed rest and by avoiding any strenuous exercise. Although rest may be beneficial for a day or two, bed rest for an extended period of time is not a good idea, and may even make it more difficult to recover.
Exercise can help with back pain
Exercise is almost always necessary to rehabilitate the spine and ease pain; it is also an excellent preventative measure to help ward off back pain and back problems before they begin. Appropriate exercise helps to distribute nutrients into the disc space and the soft tissues that support the spine. If your back is healthy, routine exercise can help to avoid a stiff or weak spine. If you experience episodes of back pain, focused exercises can minimize or reduce pain, and may even resolve it.
Types of exercise for spine health
A balanced workout of exercises focused on spine health includes:
- Stretching exercises. These exercises focus on stretching the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the back, legs, buttock, and around the spine.
- Strengthening exercises. Well-conditioned back muscles can withstand more stress and protect the spine more effectively. Strengthening exercises can help to prevent or minimize back injuries and can also relieve the pain of many back conditions.
- Low-impact aerobic conditioning. Aerobic exercise is designed to increase your heart rate for a sustained period of time. This increases blood flow to back structures, supporting healing by delivering nutrients to spine discs and soft tissues. Aerobics also eases the stiffness that can cause back pain.
When to seek spine treatment
Summit Orthopedics is home to Minneapolis/St. Paul’s top spine specialists for neck and back pain treatment. It is important to understand that there are a number of different spine problems that can cause pain. Some exercises that improve one spine condition may aggravate another condition. If you are experiencing symptoms or pain, the spine team at Summit Orthopedics will work with you to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate conservative treatment plan to address your problems. If nonsurgical treatments fail to support your lifestyle goals, fellowship-trained spine surgeons are here to consult with you and discuss appropriate surgical options.
More resources for you
Learn about whether you need medical evaluation if your legs give out.
Dr. Choi identifies bruised spine symptoms that require medical evaluation.
Ask the Expert: Injections Video Series