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How To Relieve Lower Back Pain From Lifting Weights

What Can I Do To Help With The Pain

  • Try not to do things that make the pain worse, like sitting for a long time, lifting heavy objects, or bending or twisting.

  • Stick to your normal activities as much as you can. Gentle exercise like walking helps you get better more quickly.

  • Some over-the-counter medicines can help pain or swelling. These include ibuprofen , naproxen , and acetaminophen . Your doctor may give you medicine to help with pain or muscle spasms.

  • Try using heating pads or taking a warm bath or shower.

  • Your doctor can show you some gentle exercises to help stretch your back and make the muscles stronger.

  • A physical therapist, massage therapist, or chiropractor may help with your pain and make you feel better.

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General Safety Tips For Weightlifters

Taking the time to stretch before exercising, cooling down after weightlifting, and eliminating any habits that cause poor posture will help you avoid serious injury to your back. Overall, the best way to keep your back healthy is simply to know your own body.

While its common to feel your muscles burn during a workout and to feel tired afterward, experiencing persistent pain during lifting or an ache that doesnt go away is not normal. Its a sign your body is telling you to give it a rest.

If youre experiencing persistent back pain due to weightlifting, it may be time to consult one of the orthopedic specialists at New York Bone & Joint. Our team of expert physicians and physical therapists can help diagnose your condition and discuss treatment options to get you back in top form. Call or book an appointment online today.

When Is Not Helpful

Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit a health care provider. The good news is that the pain often goes away on its own, and people usually recover in a week or two. Many people want to stay in bed when their back hurts. For many years, getting bed rest was the normal advice. But current studies recommend no bed rest at all and stress that staying in bed longer than 48 hours not only wont help but it may, in fact, actually delay your recovery. Heres why:

Staying in bed wont help you get better faster.If youre in terrible pain, lying down for a day to help ease the distress may seem like a good idea, but moderating your activities and staying active in a limited way is a more effective way to control your symptoms. Research suggests that if you can find comfortable positions and keep moving, you may not need bed rest at all.Research shows that:

  • Lying down longer than a day or two day isnt helpful for relieving back pain.
  • People can recover more quickly without any bed rest.
  • The sooner you start moving, even a little bit, or return to activities such as walking, the faster you are likely to improve.

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Look Into Getting A New Mattress

How old is your bed? You may be surprised to learn that the average life span of a mattress is less than 10 years. Theres no hard-and-fast rule, says Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief of the division of pain medicine at Stanford University, but if your mattress is sagging significantly or is more than six to eight years old, Id think about getting a new one.

Something else to consider: A firm mattress may not do your back any favors, says Carmen R. Green, MD, a physician at the University of Michigan Back & Pain Center. A number of studies over the years suggest that people with lower back pain who sleep on medium-firm mattresses do better than those with firm beds, she says.

Lower Back Pain Causes

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In the gym, back pain is most often caused by poor posture or technique. When you flex your back muscles against resistance while weightlifting, youre putting your back in a compromised position.

If your back is rounded during the exercise, it puts your hips at a higher angle, stressing your ligaments. Then, when you add weight, youve created the perfect recipe for muscle strain.

Be particularly careful when doing the following exercises: clean-and-jerk, dead-lift, snatch and squats. These exercises can be stressful to your joints and soft-tissues, especially if youre over 50.

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Common Back Injuries From Lifting Weights

Muscle strain

Repetitive and/or heavy lifting can strain your back muscles and overstretching or even tearing these muscles can be very painful. Muscle tears or spasms after a strain can also cause scarring on the muscles, which can cause further back stiffness and tightness.

Ruptured disc

Disc injuries can occur from lifting heavy weights, such as deadlifts and squats. The discs serve as a cushion between the bones of your spine, and a ruptured disc occurs when the inside of the disc begins to leak outwards from between the bones. However, it is worth noting that a ruptured disk does not always cause back pain.

Back Safety Tips While You Lift Weights

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Its recommended to do a mixture of both cardio and weight training for optimal results.

When people first start out with strength training workout routine, its not uncommon for them to get injured or experience back pain.

Wondering how you can avoid that annoying backache?

Here are six fantastic workout tips that will help you keep your back safe while you lift weights.

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How To Treat A Pulled Back Muscle In 8 Steps

A pulled back muscle can begin as a sudden, sharp pain when lifting or bending. Or it may appear gradually, getting progressively worse over several days. This common injury ranges from a minor inconvenience to an intense source of pain. It can take several weeks, and in some cases a few months, to heal.1

A pulled muscle is the common term for a strained muscle.2 A strain is a muscle or tendon injury that happens when the tissue stretches or tears. When a ligament stretches or tears, its called a sprain. Back pain, often due to a pulled muscle, is one of the most common issues health professionals treat.2 In most cases, you can manage and treat symptoms at home. But if the pain is unbearable or makes it difficult to move, see a doctor.

Lifting Weights May Help

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Done properly, lifting weights doesn’t usually hurt your back. In fact, it may help relieve chronic back pain. But when you have acute back pain, putting extra stress on back muscles and ligaments could raise risk of further injury. Ask your doctor whether you should lift weights, and which exercises to avoid.

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Causes And Risk Factors For Back Strain From Lifting

Overstretching a tendon or muscle can cause back strain. Working excessively hard or using improper lifting techniques can also lead to a back strain, while a long-term back strain can occur from activities that involve repetitive and excessive muscle movement.

Poor lifting technique or posture must be addressed, as this is the most important way to prevent back pain when lifting. For example, too much rounding of the back can overstress the spine and hips, making a strain much more likely.

Common causes of back pain include:

  • Repetitive movements that overstress your back muscles

  • Twisting while lifting

  • Lifting weights that are too heavy

  • Poor lifting posture

Multiple factors can put you at risk of a back strain. Here are a few other risk factors:

  • Having tight hamstrings

  • Excessively curving your lower back

  • Sports that involve constant pulling or pushing

How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed

Your doctor or healthcare professional will likely use a combination of physical examination and analysis of your medical history to diagnose your back pain. For instance, if youve had a back injury in the past, this new bout of back pain may well be related to that. Whats more, the physical examination might involve stretches to test flexibility, as well as feeling the area for inflammation.

If required, your doctor or physical therapist can request a CT scan, MRI, or X-Ray to get a better idea of the extent of your back injury. From there, your healthcare professional will be able to devise a treatment plan.

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What Exercise Not To Do With Lower Back Pain

If you are experiencing low back pain, it is important to talk to your physiotherapist about whether you can continue weight training with a bad back. We wont always tell you to avoid any exercises, however we may get you to reduce the intensity of them, such as reducing the weight, or moving to bodyweight exercises. The body loves exercise, and moving is a key to a healthy recovery!

What Are The Symptoms Of Lumbar Strain

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The following are the most common symptoms of a lumbar strain. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Sudden lower back pain
  • Spasms in the lower back that result in more severe pain
  • Lower back feels sore to the touch

The symptoms of a lumbar strain may resemble other conditions and medical problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

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Considerations For The Goblet Squat:

  • Start light, so you can feel the controlled descent and push out of the deep squat position, using your movement quality to guide you in your future weight selection. Use your movement to track progress, not the weight. It is so easy to pick a set weight for the goblet squat and then force feed your body to perform subpar and lackluster repetitions. Dont let a heavy weight cause you to bend forward and lose the integral vertical trunk position.

  • Tempo is your friend. Utilizing different tempos of a movement can provide the perfect stimulus your body needs to help mitigate pain and keep training at a high level. This holds true when performing goblet squats. Two tempo recommendations I use frequently are: 3 second descent, 3 second hold at bottom, 1 sec ascent, 1 sec at the top OR try a 5 sec descent, 1 sec hold at bottom, 1 sec ascent and 1 sec at the top. Both of these tempos will have your legs burning, with a nice pump, but also allow the back and surrounding musculature to work within a manageable load tolerance helping to improve pain symptoms and build strength.

  • How To Treat Lower Back Pain After A Workout

    The first step to take when suffering from lower back pain after a workout: Think happy thoughts, says Malek. “The way you feel about your back in terms of beliefs about it, what it can do, and its outcome directly affects the pain and how well it turns out for you. Try to think positive thoughts,” she explains.

    In the next few hours and days, get your back checked out by a professional, and try to keep it moving in a way that feels comfortable and doesn’t exacerbate the pain, suggests Malek. “Try not to worry about being very stiff and protecting it, unless you feel like that’s the only way that you can get through your day,” she explains. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, consider performing some gentle isometric core exercises, such as bird dogs, dead bugs, and bridges, as they can help relieve back pain, says Malek.

    Depending on the severity of your situation, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help you slowly work your way back to normal activity, and they may suggest stretches or strengthening exercises that gradually increase in load, says Malek. “When you go in this protective mode, where you just hold your back straight and you don’t bend over, the pain calms down. But four weeks later, you have to bend over to pick something up, that’s when you’ll feel it again,” she explains. Translation: Movement is key on the path toward recovery.

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    Tips For Performing The Ghd Hip Extension

  • Hip position is critical. Like extremely critical. We want the trunk and spine to maintain a stacked, static position throughout the movement. When we see mistakes is when the trunk begins to extend because the hips are not positioned properly. In order to properly tension and strengthen the glutes and hamstrings, the pelvis needs to move freely in unison the trunk. To do this properly, position the leg pad at thigh level, with the hips above the top of the pad. When lowering down, your hips should be free to move, without being blocked by the thigh pad. Try adjusting the thigh pad to a lower position on your thigh if you are predominantly feeling the exercise in your back musculature compared to your legs. Utilizing this set up decreases the amount of trunk extension, which as I mentioned above, can be a contributor to back pain and also places the emphasis of the exercise on the glutes and hamstrings as it should.

  • Tuck the neck and chest. This may seem counterintuitive when trying to keep the trunk rigid, but I do encourage a slight amount of flexing the trunk during this exercise. This minimal amount of flexing the head and trunk helps to take emphasis off the back musculature and transfers it to the glutes and hamstrings. Remember, you shouldnt be feeling this exercise in your low back musculature, but instead the backs of your legs and rear end.

  • Back Pain can be pesky, bothersome, emotionally draining, and physically limiting.

    Lift More, Limit Less.

    Set A Clear Exercise Routine

    5 Exercises for a Strong Lower Back (NO MORE PAIN!)

    Once your back injury is to the point where you can work it out a bit harder, set the intention for the type of exercise you should do.

    For instance, assess your pain level and decide if you can stick with the usual activity or if youd be better off scaling it down a bit by performing an easier activity for example, you may choose aquatic exercises or light stretching over running or lifting weights.

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    How Can I Prevent Low Back Pain

    You can prevent low back pain with physical therapy, exercises, and stretching. Supports and back belts do not prevent low back pain.

    Keep in shape, lose weight if you are overweight, and exercise regularly. Being inactive can lead to low back pain. Regular exercise like walking, swimming, or biking is good for your back. These activities put less stress on your back than sitting and standing.

    Dont lift heavy objects by bending over at the waist. Bend your hips and knees and then squat to pick up the object. Keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. Dont twist your body while you are lifting.

    If you have to sit at your desk or drive for a long time, take breaks to stretch.

    Strengthen Or Train Your Lower Back Muscles

    Your Lumbar region is located around the lower half of your torso and contains your lower back muscles and abdominal muscles. This region carries most of your bodyweight. Its because of this that lower back pain is very common and why lower back muscle strengthening is important.

    Injury prevention is the most obvious advantage of lower back strengthening. Lower back pain can occur from a sedentary lifestyle, bad posture or an active lifestyle. Gym, work and sports can also lead to lower back pain when the muscles are underdeveloped.

    Even easy exercises like hiking, running or a basic ab routine can lead to pain in the lower back ignoring the lower back while over developing the abs can cause injury. When you strengthen your lower back, it can help improve sport and gym performance.

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    Not Knowing Your Pain Triggers

    If youre experiencing lower back pain, the last thing youll want to do is go to the gym or start an intense exercise program and begin moving around with the mindset of any exercise is great for me. This is not a good plan. A better plan is to begin understanding what your pain triggers are.

    Start a pain trigger list or write in a pain journal. Write down how your back feels before, during and after working out. By making a habit of logging your pain levels, you can begin understanding which exercises are triggering your pain. When you know this, youll be able to plan a workout around your pain triggers, providing you with relief and avoiding back pain altogether.

    More Advanced Care Options

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    Surgery When other therapies fail, surgery may be considered to relieve pain caused by worsening nerve damage, serious musculoskeletal injuries, or nerve compression. Specific surgeries are selected for specific conditions/indications. However, surgery is not always successful. It may be months following surgery before the person is fully healed and there may be permanent loss of flexibility. Surgical options include:

    Implanted nerve stimulators

    • Spinal cord stimulation uses low-voltage electrical impulses from a small implanted device that is connected to a wire that runs along the spinal cord. The impulses are designed to block pain signals that are normally sent to the brain.
    • Dorsal root ganglion stimulation also involves electrical signals sent along a wire connected to a small device that is implanted into the lower back. It specifically targets the nerve fibers that transmit pain signals. The impulses are designed to replace pain signals with a less painful numbing or tingling sensation.
    • Peripheral nerve stimulation also uses a small implanted device and an electrode to generate and send electrical pulses that create a tingling sensation to provide pain relief.

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