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5 Things to Start Doing for Back Pain

by Melanie Peterson

Back pain is one of the most common complaints among patients of all kinds. We use our back more often than we think, and it is one muscle group that we don’t strengthen enough to endure all that we put it through. 

Experts say that eighty percent of the population will experience back pain at some point in their life. So whether you currently have back trouble or not, this article will likely benefit you or a loved one eventually. 

Many of these same tips for treating back pain are also good for preventing it from starting in the first place or preventing it from worsening over time. So, even if you don’t currently experience back pain, consider doing a few of the following to decrease your chances of pain in the future by strengthening core muscles. 

1. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is the best way to see lasting results for chronic or acute back pain. Whether from an isolated incident, or from an ongoing condition, physical therapists are trained and qualified professionals that can help. Physical therapy uses a variety of treatments such as massage and manipulation, exercise, stretching, home exercises, heat and stimulation, etc. 

The therapists at Pick PT specialize in treating back pain in non-surgical ways. If you are near Rexburg, Idaho seeking physical therapy options for your back pain, contact them today. 

2. Yoga

Yoga is the best exercise for safely stretching and strengthening your body. Improving balance and strengthening core muscles protects your back from injury during day to day function. Yoga also teaches proper technique for posture and how to move fluidly. Learning good habits of how to stand and move in a way that protects your back is invaluable for preventing a back injury. 

If you already have a back injury or chronic back pain, yoga is a great way to lightly stretch the area in a way that feels good and won’t put too much strain on your aching back. It’s also a way to strengthen a sensitive group of muscles. For instance, weight lifting while injured can be extremely dangerous and will likely result in more pain and further injury. 

3. Foam Roller

Many people shy away from the foam roller because it is not the most comfortable or easy thing to do. However, people who regularly use the foam roller in a proper way see substantial improvements in back range of motion and strength. A physical therapist can help you choose the foam roller that is best for your needs, but generally for these type of exercises you want a flat and firm high density foam roller. 

The following are a few muscle groups to work on the foam roller that will benefit the back and spine:

  • Upper back
  • Spinal alignment
  • Lats
  • Low back
  • Core
  • Gluteus maximus

4. Swimming

It is virtually impossible to injure yourself while exercising in the water. The buoyancy of the water takes the weight off of your joints so that you can practice range of motion without the stress of body weight. Many morbidly obese people prefer this form of exercise for that reason. People who have injuries can often accomplish movements in the water that they would be otherwise unable to do without the assistance of buoyancy. 

5. Heat and Rest

Heat therapy boosts circulation Circulation is necessary for muscles to be repaired. Heat can also reduce inflammation and increase the range of motion by decreasing stiffness. Getting oxygen flowing to the muscles is essential in decreasing stiffness. 

While all of the above mentioned tips have included movement, it is true that rest and relaxation can also be beneficial. Just like with most things you can’t take any one to the extreme. Don’t over exert an injured back, but don’t just spend all your time in a recliner because you will lose strength very quickly that way.

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