You’ve been suffering from nagging back pain for a while, and finally your summer holiday is coming around. Now you can spend a week or two doing nothing but sun-lounging away by the ocean. Bliss.
But according to our Fareham chiropractor (and pretty much every other back pain specialist out there!), inactivity is one of the worst things you can do for an achy spine. And yes, this still applies when you’re living the life of luxury on a paradise island!
When you’re dealing with back pain, your first instinct may be to lie down and rest up. In fact, up until a few decades ago, your doctor would have probably advised you to do exactly that. But times have changed, and medical research has proven that when it comes to back pain, rest is not always best.
The tide has well and truly turned on the understanding of professionals in this field on what is best for managing back pain, and the overwhelming advice is this: If you have back pain, you should limit or avoid inactivity and bed rest.
Understanding How the Body Works
When you gain an understanding of how the body works, it makes complete sense that activity is best when it comes to promoting and encouraging healing. The fact is simple: our bodies require frequent activity and movement to remain in good condition. When our bodies become inactive, muscles become stiff and weak, ligaments and tendons lose their flexibility and become more prone to injuries and the spine’s discs can dry up and lose essential nutrients.
Inactivity can also cause a negative cycle – without movement, back pain can get worse, which discourages activity. And of course, living an inactive lifestyle can increase the likelihood of depression and other mental health problems.
According to our Fareham chiropractor, most types of back pain can be improved or managed with regular exercise, particularly through:
- Activities that strengthen the core
- Stretches that maintain flexibility
- Low-impact aerobic exercise.
Remember that a lack of physical activity is a direct cause of back pain, and too much sitting or lying down can result in important muscles shutting down. Regular exercise can help overcome this problem.
Simple Beach Exercises
You deserve a holiday, and no one expects you to be running miles along the sands while the rest of your family kick back with a cocktail. All you must do to keep your spine healthy on the beach is follow this simple routine:
Bottom to heels stretch
Kneel down on all fours and place your knees under your hips and your hands under shoulders.
Slowly pull your bottom backwards while keeping the natural curve in your spine. Hold this stretch for one deep breath and then return to the starting position.
Repeat this exercise 8 to 10 times.
Lie down on your back and place a flat cushion or a book beneath your head. Bend your knees and keep them together.
With your shoulders on the floor, roll your knees to one side and follow this action with your pelvis. Hold this position for one deep breath and then return to the starting position.
Repeat this exercise 8 to 10 times, alternating sides.
Lie on your stomach and prop yourself up onto your elbows to lengthen your spine. Keep your shoulders back.
Arch your back while pushing down on your hands until you feel a gentle stretch on your stomach. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds.
Repeat this exercise 8 to 10 times.
It’s important to talk with your doctor or chiropractor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you’re having an acute back pain episode. If you experience sharp or sudden pain while exercising, stop immediately and consult your doctor.
Your next step to a better back
At Homewood Chiropractic Clinic in Fareham our experienced team of chiropractors are well qualified to assess your back pain condition and advise on an appropriate course of treatment, exercise and lifestyle changes that will help alleviate your back pain.
Why not give the clinic a call on 01329 280 283 and book an appointment before taking off on your summer holiday.