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threw out my back... what to do for exercise right now


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I threw out my back this past weekend and now have just made it worse bending over to pick something up.  I'm getting a massage today, but had to skip the gym yesterday and most likely today as well.  Any suggestions for what I can do for exercise while my back is on the mend?  I've been doing really well with my exercise program, so hate that I'm just sitting around, but don't want to make it worse.  Not sure about the elliptical?? 

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Personally I'd take a few days rest.  Massage is good and might help you feel better but I'd still say skip the gym.  Nothing worse then feeling better and then making it worse by working out too soon. 

Having back problems myself, wehn mine is bothering me it's usually enough just to go for a walk.  Lifting aggravates it and so does bending. 

Anti-inflamatories (ibuprofen), ice and rest are the best things.  Try to get up and walk around often so that it doesn't tighten up.  You can also use heat, or alternate ice and heat. 

The massage sounds good, but make sure they know you are having issues.

I have way too much experience in this- can you do gentle stretches?  I mean, do things like gently raising your knee to your stomach or chest and holding it there for a few seconds?  Another stretch is to stand against a flat wall as best you can and try to straighten your spine best you can and then gently inch down just a bit- back still against the wall flat as possible.  Up and down against the wall.  Even standing up and raising your heel up and down is a stretch.  That's where I am at- stretching- and walking a bit.  Good luck and hope you get some relief.  Heating pad can help, too. 

If it continues to hurt, go to a doctor.  You could possibly have slipped a disk and even the simplest of exercises/stretches can rupture it!  If it is just a muscle strain, your doctor will more than likely tell you to take muscle relaxers and/or ibuprofen and give you some basic back stretches to do.  I do not recommend any type of exercise until your back feels better and/or you have the OK from your doctor.  In the meantime, heat on affected area and zero impact exercise, do not lift anything over 15 pounds and any lifting/bending needs to be done with bent kness putting the pressure on the legs.  Good luck!

#5  
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Check with your doc.  Rest.  Super low impact stuff like walking and swimming are probably the most you should do.  Dfinitely no elliptical.

Please don't use heat on your back without consulting a doctor.  I used to put heat on my back when I would throw it out and it turns out that it was only making my problem worse.

My doctor told me that heat can make things worse, but that ice never hurts. 

Also, I would definitely stay away from exercise until you feel better.  Would you exercise if you sprained your ankle?

The doctor told you heat would make WHAT worse? Both heat and ice manipulate blood flow. Heat increases circulation which boosts the supply of oxygen to the area which accelerates the removal of waste products. Ice restricts blood flow which reduces inflammation and pain. Ice no longer than 20 minutes:

  • If you've hurt yourself in the last 48 hours (sprained your ankle or hammered your thumb instead of the nail).
  • If the area is swollen - ice will decrease the inflammation around the injury which will help control the pain.
  • After surgery to reduce swelling, bleeding, and bruising.
  • To chronic injuries suffered by athletes, such as overused joints like runner's knees - these areas should be iced after the activity to reduce inflamation.

Apply heat no longer than 20 minutes:

  • If you have chronic pain, such as sore, stiff, nagging joint or muscle pain, especially in places like the lower back - the heat brings new blood to the area to help loosen the tissues and help them to relax.
  • To chronic conditions, such as a tight hamstring before you exercise to improve elasticity.

 

Original Post by fitnessgirll:
  • If you have chronic pain, such as sore, stiff, nagging joint or muscle pain, especially in places like the lower back - the heat brings new blood to the area to help loosen the tissues and help them to relax.
  • To chronic conditions, such as a tight hamstring before you exercise to improve elasticity.

One common cause of lower back pain is too much mobility of the lumbar spine, so 'loosening up' the lower back can potentially do more harm than good for back pain.  If heat is used to loosen up a joint then it seems reasonable that some doctors would discourage people from using heat to treat back pain.

Heat is also unlikely to improve chronic tight hamstrings in many cases since it doesn't treat the cause of the tighness (poor posture).

Mike Robertson does a better job of explaining both of these points in this article.

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by fitnessgirll:
  • If you have chronic pain, such as sore, stiff, nagging joint or muscle pain, especially in places like the lower back - the heat brings new blood to the area to help loosen the tissues and help them to relax.
  • To chronic conditions, such as a tight hamstring before you exercise to improve elasticity.

One common cause of lower back pain is too much mobility of the lumbar spine, so 'loosening up' the lower back can potentially do more harm than good for back pain.  If heat is used to loosen up a joint then it seems reasonable that some doctors would discourage people from using heat to treat back pain.

Heat is also unlikely to improve chronic tight hamstrings in many cases since it doesn't treat the cause of the tighness (poor posture).

Mike Robertson does a better job of explaining both of these points in this article.

 Actually, putting a heavy emphasis on lumbar/core stability, coupled with reinforcing mobility via the hips and thoracic spine should help with ''too much mobility''.  She never stated what part of her back was hurting and honestly, anyone with back pain that is bad enough to interfere with their daily life - including workouts - should see a medical doctor, to be on the safe side.  In very rare cases, back pain has been cardiac.  So, I still recommend a doctor who hopefully will tell you that heat and back stretches are all you need - thus - putting your worries to rest - and your life BACK [pun intended ;)] on track!!

#10  
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Thank you for the replies everyone.  It is my very lower back that is the problem, I've had issues with this area before.  I do yoga and am pretty flexible in my back, especially my lower back, so I don't know if this contributes to my problems.  I've taken the week off from exercising.  I have been working on core stability, as I realized that this was an area where I'm weak.  The Dr issue is a bit of a problem right now as I'm between Drs, but I have a previously scheduled appt with a new one next week.  I'll definitely mention my back.  When I've had back issues like this in the past, my Dr had just prescribed muscle relaxers (which never helped).   The massage yesterday seems to have helped and I scheduled another one for next Monday.  In the meantime, I'm taking the week off from exercise, but not from healthy eating.

Hi there

 

I did just that when I threw my back out the first time.  In fact since the beginning of August I  have thrown out my back twice.  I have never thrown my back out before.

So, after a few days, I'd say four or five I was feeling 95% better and started doing all my exercises full throttle.  I do mine at home.  I have a weighted stability ball, dumbells and barbell, and medicine ball, too. I rarely, if ever missed a day of doing something, so basically, yes, I was working out everday.  I have been an avid exercise person for over 30 years.  I have taken long periods of time away from exercising, but for the most part I have been for a long time.  I am saying this so you get to understand I am fit person and this can still happen.

Thinking I was able and did all this only to wake up on Sunday morning unable to move!  I couldn't even get out of bed.  My son helped me to the bathroom and then went off to work.  I realized after he left my pain meds were not with reach and had to wait more than four hours until he got home.  During that time, just laying in bed I had so many incredibly painful spasms I thought I'd go crazy.

This time I am taking it easy, real easy.  I have been home since Sunday.  I was planning to go to take care of my aunt like I have been for a few years now and decided not to go.  My back still hurts a bit and I don't want to go through what I have been through the past several days.

 

I am unhappy about not being able to work out.  I will not do what I have been.  I'll do just what I need to do to help my back.

NOW having said all that, is it OK to do curls if I am in a sitting position?

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