Thousands and thousands of people struggle with back pain. There are almost too many reasons that back pain happens to even count, from misuse, to bad mattresses, to car accidents. Being active can help prevent back pain, but it can also cause it. The problem is, back pain tends to stick around. It takes a while to go away, and if you do anything wrong, it takes even longer. But you can’t just stop working out all together – that usually isn’t good for your back, either. In today’s blog, we’re going to look staying active with back pain and how you can do it safely.

Assess the Pain

Take a minute and do yourself the favor of reviewing just what you’re feeling. You need to determine whether you can work through the issue on your own or if it’s time to get a professional involved. Back issues manifest themselves in to many ways, it’s worth slowing down to fully understand how serious your pain is. You may just have tweaked a muscle … or damaged the basic structure of your spine. If something serious is going on, it will usually exhibit one or more of the following signs:

  • Loss of sensation
  • Immobility or inability to walk
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of bladder or bowel function
  • Numbness or tingling

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms in the list above, you should contact your doctor. These symptoms indicate nerve issues, which are usually caused by spine damage. If none of the symptoms apply to you, it’s time to move on to other strategies.

Flexion or Extension?

No matter what condition you have, it will fall into one of two categories: extension- or flexion-based dysfunction and pain. Extension happens when the spine arches back. Flexion happens when it curls forward. As you can guess, flexion-based troubles are the most prevalent in our society. We do so much sitting with bad posture, it’s pretty much inevitable.

It’s easy to figure out in which direction your spine has trouble. If doing a child’s pose causes you pain, you have a flexion-based issue. If doing an upward dog pose hurts, you have an extension-based issue. Once you know which position gives your back the most trouble, you will be able to ensure you avoid movements that will aggravate the problem. No matter whether you struggle with flexion- or extension-based pain, you need to stay mobile. Change positions a lot. Doing so will give your spine a rest and speed up your recovery process.

Though we all experience back pain, we deal with it differently. If you’re smart about it, you can minimize the time you have to deal with the pain. At Houston Gym, we are no strangers to back pain, and we feel privileged to help people work through the challenges their bodies throw at them. Our fitness center is a community where you can grow wherever you are, whether you’re getting over an injury or you want to be a competitive weightlifter. Learn more about what we offer today!