Back pain, localized especially in the lumbosacral spine that is the lower part of the vertebral column (and therefore more properly called low back pain ) is an increasingly frequent disorder linked above all to the increase in a sedentary lifestyle.
Sedentary lifestyle almost always goes hand in hand with a whole series of muscle tensions and contractures linked to the wrong postures that are taken on a daily basis (when you are sitting at your desk and working on your PC, when you spend many hours driving, when you are for a long time with the head bowed on a tablet or smartphone, when watching TV taking on the most varied positions on the sofa, etc.).
If we add to this an excess of weight, more and more frequent especially in the very young, we will easily understand how the back is subjected to many stresses that, in the long run, do nothing but create the basis for these painful syndromes to develop.
Stretching for back pain: is it useful?
Stretching is undoubtedly essential for the well-being of the back because it helps improve the elasticity of the muscles and promotes stretching. A prominent place should always be reserved for these exercises both before and after training. This is because stretching exercises improve muscle tone, increase tolerance to physical effort and above all help reduce the risk of injuries in general and especially of muscle contractures.
The body district that derives the greatest benefits from stretching is the paravertebral musculature of the lumbosacral spine, that is, the area of the back where the pain is most frequently felt.
Why does sport help cure back pain and which are the best?
That sport is a cure-all for back pain and for all the pains related to muscle contractures is well known; what perhaps not everyone knows is that not all sports are going well indeed some can even worsen the problem.
So what are the best sports for back pain? How often to play sports to see the benefits?
Certainly, for a sport to have beneficial effects, it is necessary to practice it regularly because the occasional session can even be counterproductive in the sense that it could worsen a pre-existing state of malaise. And therefore it would be good practice to exercise at least 3-4 times a week and for at least 45-60 minutes.
Furthermore, the beginning of the activity must be gradual, in fact, after having led a sedentary life for years, one cannot think of starting the practice of a sport and starting with 60 minutes of intensive training. After giving these general tips let’s move on to list which are the most useful sports for back pain sufferers :
brisk walking (or walking) is certainly a sport with few contraindications and, if practiced with constancy and regularity, can give incredible advantages. Obviously, for walking to have positive effects on back pain, it is necessary to carefully choose the shoe to be used and above all try to control the posture and support of the foot as much as possible. Especially at the beginning, the use of a lumbar belt can be useful in order to provide additional support to the paravertebral muscles.
swimming is very often indicated as the best sport for those suffering from muscle strains on the lumbar spine or even for those with posture problems. If this is true for the back style, it is not the same for styles such as the frog which in fact could worsen the lumbar hyperlordosis (i.e. an accentuation of the curve of the spine in the lumbar spine) responsible for many cases of back pain.
yoga and pilates are two disciplines that have as their ultimate goal the control of their body through targeted exercises. With these two sports, it is possible to have countless benefits without creating too much stress on muscles and joints, in particular. It is possible to improve posture, strengthen muscles and counteract muscle tension.
Which sports, on the other hand, would be best avoided for back pain sufferers? The answer is simple and that is all those sports that tend to overload the lumbar district (because it is from there that most of the back pain originates) which are above all weightlifting, running and cycling.
Exercises against back pain to do at home
It is not necessary to spend a fortune to be followed by a personal trainer or look for a gym specializing in who knows what discipline because there are countless useful exercises for back pain that can also be done at home.
Let’s see together some simple ones that can also be practiced every day:
- Sit on a chair with your back resting firmly against the back, straight and with your legs spread, from this position, exhaling, gradually bend your body forward until you touch the tip of your feet with your hands. Maintain this position for at least 10 seconds and rise gently inhaling. The exercise must be repeated 10 times.
- Lie down on a mat in a supine position. From this position bring the knees to the chest and, with the help of the hands, maintain the position for 10 seconds. Then return to the starting position, rest for 5 seconds and repeat the exercise 10 times.
- Always on a mat, kneel on the ground with your buttocks resting on your heels, exhale, stretching forward (as if you want to bow) until you touch the ground with your hands trying not to move your pelvis. Hold the position for a few seconds and gently return to the starting position. A variant of this exercise involves bending over to the right and left in order to also relax the lateral muscles.
- Kneel on all fours with your hands resting on the floor parallel to your shoulders. From this position, exhaling, gradually bend the spine upwards and inhale to return to the starting position. Also, this exercise must be repeated 10 times.
- This last exercise is used to relax the muscles of the whole back starting from the neck and involves standing slightly with the arms behind the back, to slightly bend the head to the right and to the left while the hand will pull the contralateral arm downwards (to be clearer if the head is tilted to the right, the left arm will be pulled downwards). Hold for 10 seconds and repeat the exercise 10 times per side.