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Improve Your Back Health With Exercise

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Shealy Register
Improve Your Back Health With Exercise

A healthy spine is a fundamental part of a healthy life. Spinal discomfort or injury can irritate the spinal cord - one of the main parts of the central nervous system - and can negatively affect other parts of the body. 

About 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some point. However, you can take steps to reduce your risk for this common condition. In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, weight and posture, exercise is an effective strategy to strengthen the muscles around the spine and reduce pressure in other areas of the back.

"The body with its joints, ligaments, muscles and other structures is designed for movement," said Allen Sawyer, PT, Dip. MDT, physical therapist at Archbold Therapy and Sports Medicine. "General fitness and mobility is a component in maintaining a healthy musculoskeletal system. However, in the presence of previous injury, a customized program tailored to that specific injury is necessary to prevent recurrence and maintain spinal health."

Activities That Benefit Your Back

If you are working to enhance your back health, Sawyer underscores the importance of maintaining flexibility of the spine in both bending and strengthening, as well as engaging in light to moderate resistance training. 

Some activities that exercise and strengthen core muscles response for supporting the spine include: 

  • Swimming, which develops abdominal muscles without putting stress on joints
  • Yoga, which stretches muscles and relieves soreness while promoting flexibility
  • Weight training, which allows you to develop specific muscle groups that support the spine, such as the latissimus dorsi (side and middle back), trapezius (neck and upper back) and quadratus lumborum (lower back)

Exercise Pitfalls to Avoid

Make sure your exercise routine or favorite physical activity does not put unnecessary strain on your neck or back. Getting fit should not come at the expense of your spine. 

"An individual with a history of back complications or difficulties should work closely with their healthcare specialist," Sawyer said. "Together, they can develop a customized program to effectively prevent and manage future exacerbations."

Living with back pain? Physical therapy can help. Visit Thomasville Physical Therapy | Archbold to learn more.