How to Cure a Lower Back Injury Caused by Exercise
If you are reading this article, chances are that your lower back is aching after nearly every workout or gym session.
Although annoying, this is fairly common among workout enthusiasts. When you think about all the different roles your back plays daily, it’s no wonder why it often aches or hurts the next day.
You are probably asking yourself a few questions, including:
- Why do some people experience back pain after exercise while others don’t?
- Why does someone who is in otherwise excellent condition experience back pain at all?
- Most of all, how can I stop my lower back from hurting after I exercise?
All of these are great questions, so let me explain in detail not only why you are experiencing back pain, but what you can do to stop it.
Your Role Your Day Job Plays in Back Pain
Of course, everyone is different, but for the average person, consider how much time you spend sitting or lying on the sofa or bed. This includes time spent commuting, driving to the grocery store, taking the kids to school, etc.
When you add up all those hours every week that you spend sitting or just chillaxin’ (as the kids say) watching Netflix or playing video games, that one to three hours you spend working out really is no match, is it?
While sitting is often considered only to be “bad” for your cardiovascular system, it is also very hard on your spine.
Long periods of sitting down cause the hip flexors to become shorter. This can lead to hip pain and if you don’t have an ergonomic chair design or if you had poor posture, this can also hurt your back.
Sitting causes compression of the discs in between the vertebrae of the spinal column. Continued compression can not only cause you pain but premature degeneration of the discs.
The damage caused by sitting for 8+ hours every day cannot be undone by 3-5 hours of exercise unless you are very specific about strengthening the muscles that support the spine and your core muscles.
Why Do Some People Have Lower Back Pain after Exercise While Others Don’t?
Part of this question is answered above. Still, you might find that you and a friend who spend equal amounts of time sitting and exercising the same amount, leaves you with low back pain and your friend without.
Why does this happen?
No two people are exactly alike. Even if you and your friend appear to do the same things, you both have different genetics and different life experiences.
Two people can eat the exact same diet and yet one will end up with higher cholesterol than another. Genetics and race play a role in some health issues and scientists cannot yet explain why this occurs.
I’m in Great Physical Shape So Why Do I Have Lower Back Pain after Exercising?
As I mentioned above, genetics, race, and life experiences all play a role in low back pain. For many, I have found, it’s simply a matter of posture.
You heard me right, posture.
Regardless of the type of exercise you are doing, your posture can make all the difference between doing the exercise properly or not.
Chances are that you have heard experts advise people attempting a certain exercise to “look up, flex your knees a bit, and use your legs.” Having the proper posture when exercising, sitting, standing, walking, or running can cause you to strengthen your core muscles, or to give you an aching back for the next three days.
Your chiropractor can help you in this area. Have someone film you while you are running, walking, sitting, and/or doing other types of exercise. Review this video with your chiropractor. They will point out a poor posture or an uneven gait when running, or other issues. Your chiropractor can then instruct you on the proper way you should be standing/sitting/running to prevent future back pain.
Let’s Consider Other Little Known Problems
You might actually have other health issues that, while they aren’t major or life-threatening, can cause you to have low back pain after exercise, including:
- A Pinched Nerve
Perhaps you were in a car accident a few years back, or you were injured playing football back in high school. You might not even remember the incident, but your back does.
An impinged nerve, an injured disc, or even very mild arthritis in the spine might be the root cause as to why your back aches after exercise.
- Venous Insufficiency
Venous insufficiency occurs when your veins simply aren’t able to supply enough oxygen-rich blood to the muscles. This causes the muscles to ache afterward due to a lack of oxygen and a build-up of lactic acid.
If you get spasms or an ache in your lower back after exercising, lie down and elevate the legs. If this relieves your back pain, you might have venous insufficiency.
While we often think of arthritis as something that occurs only in the elderly, the fact is that you can develop arthritis at any age.
What Can You Do to Stop Back Pain After Exercising?
Stretching before and after exercise is probably one of the best ways to help prevent post-workout back pain. Yoga is very beneficial and not only stretches muscles but strengthens core muscles.
For many people, however, a few trips to your local chiropractor can work wonders to stop this problem.
Whether your pain stems from weak muscles, an injured disc, poor posture, or a lack of proper form when exercising, your chiropractor can help.
Comprehensive Chiropractic Care
How does a chiropractor treat low back pain? This would depend on the root cause.
Chiropractors are experts in all things musculoskeletal in nature. They understand how the body should move and bend to prevent back injuries.
If you are suffering from a pinched nerve or injured disc, a chiropractor is a perfect choice for allowing natural healing to take place, with a little extra help.
Chiropractors use adjustments, low-level light laser therapy, ultrasound, heat therapy, and chiropractic massage to stimulate healing.
Comprehensive chiropractic care is the perfect solution to the age-old problem of back pain after exercise!