Back pain is one of the main reasons people miss work or have to visit a doctor. It’s also one of the leading causes of disability. Most people experience back pain at least once in their lives. You may think that rest gives your back time to heal, but if your pain persists for four weeks or longer, rest alone isn’t working and in fact may be making your pain worse, as rest allows your back muscles to further atrophy.
The spinal medicine specialists at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) sometimes suggest an active physical exercise plan. Isokinetic exercise is a type of strength training that involves machines that generate constant speed regardless of how much effort you exert. These exercises for a bad back strengthen your muscles while using movements your body is accustomed to making. Some common bad back symptoms include:
- Muscle aches
- Shooting or stabbing pain
- Pain that originates in your back and travels down your leg
- Pain that gets worse when bending, lifting, standing or walking
- Reduction in your back pain when reclining
The Benefits of Isokinetic Exercises
This form of strength training includes several exercises for a bad back. When done properly, they increase your muscle tone, endurance and strength. These exercises also help your balance, coordination and metabolism.
Strength training exercises for a bad back strengthen a weak core and other ancillary muscles, such as your hamstrings. A weakness in any of your core muscles or the supporting muscles of your torso can cause back pain. Strong core muscles help stabilize your spine, relieving your pain. Controlling the resistance and speed of the exercises benefit you by increasing muscle flexibility, isolating muscle development and helping prevent injury.
Isometric exercises for a bad back include those using weight machines, such as:
- Back extension. This machine allows your back to remain in a stable position while offering the same level of resistance throughout the entire range of motion. This exercise keeps the focus on your back.
- Abdominal extension. This core training and stability exercise maintains the tension focused on your abs, but it keeps the rest of your body in a neutral position. Often, weak core muscles like your abdominals can’t properly stabilize your spine.
Proper Training and Takeaways
While it may be tempting to do research on your own and begin a plan that you feel works for you, it’s not advisable. You may seriously injure yourself unintentionally. Before beginning any type of rehabilitation plan, speak to your doctors and physical therapists at SSI. They can explain the proper safety measures and exercises for a bad back that apply to your specific injury or condition. Best practices include:
- Warm up your body thoroughly with dynamic stretching, jogging or walking at a brisk pace.
- Drink lots of water to ensure you’re well hydrated.
- Do a few gentle stretches post-workout to loosen your muscles and prevent potential soreness and injuries.
Be patient with your body throughout your rehabilitation. The pain may intensify in the beginning, but your back relaxes as you strengthen it with consistent work. Contact the medical professionals at SSI today to schedule an appointment.