Strength, flexibility and aerobic indications to mitigate back pain

More than 80% of the population experience back pain at least one time in their lives. One of the most common causes of back pain is the sedentary lifestyle. Indeed, people who work being seated for ten hours per day (e.g. office workers, cashiers, lorry drivers) constrain their vertebral column to a prolonged static and often curved position, which is not healthy for the back. This can generate pain, stiffness and limited movements of the back, which can compromise the quality of life.

Prevention is crucial to avoid back pain. Firstly, you have to keep in mind that the posture that you maintain during the day is crucial. When you are at work, it is important to use ergonomic tools with personalized measurements, and to sit correctly, adjusting the chair so that the lower back is sustained properly. Thus you should avoid being seated for more than an hour consecutively.

So, after 50 minutes of sitting position you should stand up, make some steps and some simple stretching exercises in order to move your joints and favour vertebral health. An excellent and effective alternative is that of using and ‘active sitting device’, like the Technogym Wellness Ball™ Active Sitting . On the Active sitting the user is forced to do a number of micro- movements at the lumbar level through the activation of the core muscles (deep and superficial abdominals, lower back muscle); this is the best way to avoid the major cause of back pain.

Moreover, it has been proved that executing regular physical activity at rather low to moderate levels is effective in reducing chronic neck and back pain. Therefore, you should take some time to practice appropriate exercises.

Strengthening the specific muscles that support the spine is very important to relieve back pain. Particular attention has to be addressed to training the abdominal, deep and core muscles. Thus, if you have an adequate muscular apparatus sustaining the column and an efficient core stability, your back is more protected and strengthened.

Guidelines suggest that people should perform 10-15 repetitions/day for every exercise, for at least 2 days per week. Each workout should also include stretching exercises, executed with specific products, or free body, with the aim to improve back mobility and to enhance flexibility in the hip and hamstring muscles.

In fact, according to some studies, stretching is important because muscle stiffness can restrict the ability of the back to move, rotate, and bend. The subjects should focus on stretching each muscle group for 2 minutes, in order to obtain the effect. Literature indicates that aerobic exercise, like walking at a fast pace on a treadmill is also important to ease low back pain In fact, low impact exercises like swimming, cycling or walking appear to be useful to decrease pain intensity. The ideal solution would be to perform the aerobic training 3 to 5 days/week, allowing vascular and muscular adaptations.

In addition to the traditional workout, largely diffused activities such as Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi seem to be indicated for back pain sufferers. These exercises can be helpful to prevent recurrences of low back pain because they are based on low-impact physical movements and on a careful body perception.

In conclusion, physical activity is strongly recommended in case of back pain and its benefits can sometimes reduce the need for painkillers. The advice is to perform a complete workout, including resistance, flexibility and aerobic exercise, paying attention to the correct and slow execution of the gestures, because improper or excessive exercise can also become the cause for back pain.