Even with anti-inflammatories and an expensive mattress, back pain can still be a problem for many. This is especially true if you’re trying to maintain an exercise routine, as both weightlifting and regular cardio can impact both the back muscles and the spine. If you’re dealing with a sensitive back, there’s a few easy steps you can take before, during, and after time in the gym to relieve the pain and tension.

Sensitive Back? 4 Tips For Your Next Workout

A Healthy Mindset

Chronic pain isn’t just a physical problem. If you suffer from regular back pain, chances are the idea of aggravating it produces anxiety and other uncomfortable emotional symptoms. Dr. James Rainville, an expert in rehabilitation, found that back pain sufferers often suffer anxieties worse than the actual pain, preventing them from exercising. The truth is that, while pain can be limiting, you have more control over it than you think. Regular exercise not only strengthens back muscles, but also releases endorphins, powerful hormones that help to control pain. Considering exercising an active part of your treatment plan can help to alleviate stress towards the idea of physical activity.

Stretch Beforehand

A quick warm-up before hitting the weights can mean the difference between an effective workout or spending the next few days recovering in bed. By stretching, you’ll help prepare the ligaments, tendons, and muscles that help to support the spine before putting them to the test with more intense exercises. In order to lengthen muscles correctly during stretches, hold each pose for a minimum of 15 seconds and up to a maximum of 30 seconds. Try to repeat each stretch at least four times as well, since this will help the muscle reach maximum elongation and unleash a joint’s full range of motion.

Modify Your Routine

With back pain, certain exercises are impossible without triggering a painful episode. That said, it’s possible to modify your routine to still hit all major muscle groups while reducing stress to your back. For example, plank exercises can be just as effective in building your abdominal muscles as crunches, but do so while keeping your torso and spine aligned, helping to avoid strain. If you love to jog on the treadmill but can’t due to back pain, head for a stairclimber instead, as it puts less strain on the hamstrings, which commonly leads to back issues.

Responsible Recovery

Even with proper precautions, it’s still possible to overdo it and find yourself suffering. If that’s the case, have a recovery plan ready. For simple soreness that only lasts a few days, employ the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This, coupled with an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory should be enough to address simple soreness. If your discomfort is severe and lasts for more than a day or two after a workout, it’s time to have a chiropractor from a business like Fulk Chiropractic address the problem. Be prepared details on the exercise routine that led to the injury, as your chiropractor can likely offer suggestions on how to alter your routine or form and thus avoid injury in the future.

Take Control

A sensitive back can leave you feeling weak, but you aren’t powerless when it comes to fighting back pain. Take control with a regular routine which incorporates exercises that will both avoid strain and strengthen the back against future injuries. Give yourself an ample warm up, plenty of recovery time afterwards, and in the event of an injury, seek both treatment and advice on how to modify your exercise program.