When you have lower back pain, exercise can be both a source of welcome relief and added discomfort. You’ll want to avoid exercises that place too much stress on muscles in and around your lumbar (lower) spine. However, you can still keep those same muscles strong enough to offer support to your lower back by considering how aerobic exercise may provide meaningful relief and reduce your need for back surgery.
Prolonged periods of aerobic exercise get the blood flowing. When this happens, more nutrients are delivered to tissues and discs that support the spine. Increased circulation also results in a reduction in muscle stiffness and tension.
Increases Daily Functioning
Aerobic exercise provides the stimulation your muscles and joints need to keep moving. This can make it easier to perform daily activities, including work-related duties, downtime with friends and family, and favorite hobbies, without as much discomfort.
Boosts Endorphin Production
Originating in the brain and nervous system, endorphins are the body’s natural “feel-good” hormones. The overall stimulation resulting from aerobic exercise encourages the production of these hormones. Endorphins can also boost mood, ease depression, and sometimes reduce reliance on certain medications.
Naturally Decreases Appetite
Regular aerobic activity, whether it’s a daily walk or periodic trips to the gym, acts as a natural appetite suppressant within the body. Consequently, it becomes easier to keep weight within a normal range, which reduces pressure on joints and bones of the spine.
Helps Manage Blood Pressure
Staying active with aerobic exercise can make it easier to manage blood pressure. Optimal blood pressure levels help keep tissues within the spine healthy.
Less strenuous forms of aerobic exercise such as walking, elliptical and stationary bike exercises, and water-based activities tend to be better for people with lower back pain. Before starting an aerobic exercise routine, check with a board-certified back doctor to see if there are any precautions you may need to take first.
If your lower back pain persists despite efforts to exercise, get in touch with Dr. Hyun Bae at The Spine Institute Center. Dr. Bae and his team of expert surgeons specialize in the minimally invasive spine surgery Santa Monica residents swear by. Call our office today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an in-person evaluation.