Back Pain When Lifting Weights
Can lifting weights cause back pain? Can lifting weights cause back pain? People often associate weightlifting with back pain due to the strain it can put on your body and spine. However, you may be surprised to know just how highly beneficial weightlifting can be as an exercise. Any form of strength training which involves regularly lifting weights helps to promote muscular strength, good bone health, health metabolism and cardiovascular fitness.
- Back pain caused by lifting weights is caused mainly by poor posture or poor lifting technique.
- Deadlifting is a common way to cause low back pain as people with poor technique tend to either round the lower back or overextend it.
- This is common and can put the hips at a bad angle, causing strain on the spinal ligaments, muscles, intervertebral discs and facet joints.
It is important to keep your shoulders stable and engage your pelvis so that you don’t overextend your back. When this happens, you may well experience some degree of pain in the lower back. This may vary in intensity, from dull aching to acute pain that makes it difficult to move.
- Here are three common injuries seen from poor weighlifting technique in the low back.
- Herniated disc; These are often triggered by poor deadlifting technique.
- This occurs when an intervertebral disc, which acts as a shock absorber for the spine, becomes damaged, torn or bulges.
- The soft, inner gel leaks out meaning that the spine is less cushioned and able to deal with load.
The gel from the disc can irritate the local nerve root surrounding the spine. Muscle and ligament tears; Tearing a muscle or straining a ligament can be very painful and also pose a problem in limiting your mobility. During the inflammation & healing process scar tissue can form.
This can cause the muscle tissue to shorten. Having soft tissue massage, or instrument assisted massage can help to break down scar tissue and restore normal function. Facet joint locks/irritations; Facet joints allow movement and provide stabilisation for the low back. When these joints are repetitively jammed together from poor lifting technique, over extension of the spine this can cause the joints to become inflamed and result in pain.
When people complain of facet joint pain they describe it as being like a trapped nerve and have limited movement in the low back. If you suffer with back pain from lifting weights it may be a good idea to seek professional advice from an osteopath, who can assess, diagnose and treat your problems.
They will seek to reduce your pain and inflammation in the spine and give you some symptom relief. Osteopaths are known for a technique called joint manipulation or a high velocity low amplitude thrust (HVT). This technique involves putting the joints in position to lock or build pressure within the joint.
The thrust is performed to the joint, there is a rapid change which creates a small amount of space creating a “click” “pop” or a crack. This technique is designed to free joints in the spine or other areas of the body which in turn will reduce pain and temporary improved mobility.
At the clinic we can give you advice on ways to prevent further damage and pain from occurring, including targeted rehabilitation exercises, posture advice, weightlifting technique advice and nutritional advice. How can I prevent back pain from lifting weights? There are a few ways to prepare your body for the strain and stress from weightlifting.
These include: – Warming up properly and mobilise your body before your session. Targeting the hips and thoracic spine is a good place to start. – Making sure you have good posture to lift weights with. Seek advice from a personal trainer if you are unsure of technique.
– Use less weight and focus on form. – Address your core stabilising muscles Ed
: Can lifting weights cause back pain?
- 1 Should I stop lifting weights if my back hurts?
- 2 Can I keep exercising with back pain?
Why does my back hurt when I lift weights?
What causes lumbar strain? – Injury can damage the tendons and muscles in the lower back. Pushing and pulling sports, such as weight lifting or football, can lead to a lumbar strain. In addition, sports that require sudden twisting of the lower back, such as in tennis, basketball, baseball, and golf, can lead to this injury.
Severe lower back curvature Forward-tilted pelvis Weak back or belly (abdominal) muscles Tight hamstrings
Should I stop lifting weights if my back hurts?
Precautions to take if you develop back pain after exercising – If you develop back pain after exercising, bad posture may be the culprit. Here are tips for maintaining correct form and posture:
Stand upright. Do not slouch or slump. Try to keep your back straight or in a neutral position. Sit up straight. If you have to sit for long periods of time, make sure you sit on a chair that has good arm support. Your knees and hips should be in a line. You can use a pillow to support your back from behind if your chair does not have back support. Lift with your legs. Avoid heavy lifting if possible. If you do need to lift something heavy, keep your back straight and bend only at the knees, holding the weight close to your body and letting your legs do the work. Warm-up stretches. Always do warm-up exercises before workouts that involve using your back muscles. Change your footwear. Avoid wearing high heels and other uncomfortable shoes, as they can affect your posture and lead to back pain.
Should my back hurt after working out?
When Lower Back Pain After a Workout is Normal? – Feeling tightness or tension in the lower back is expected after a particular exercise. For instance, deadlifts and squats activate the rear muscles, leading to stress. Further, a dull ache or soreness is a common consequence of workouts.
How long does lower back pain take to heal?
What is back pain? – Back pain is one of most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days at work. Back pain can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp or shooting pain. There are two types of back pain:
Acute (short-term) back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. It usually resolves on its own within a few days with self-care and there is no long-term loss of function. Chronic back pain is pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of back pain has been treated.
Risk factors for low back pain
Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50 and may become more common as you age. Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit, as their muscles may not properly support the spine. Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on your back and cause pain. Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis (a form of arthritis that affects the spine), have a genetic component. Job-related factors: Job that requires heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, or twisting or vibrating the spine can injure your back, as can sitting at a desk all day, especially if you have poor posture or sit in a chair with not enough back support. Mental health: Anxiety, mood, and depression can influence how you perceive your back pain and stress can cause muscle tension. Smoking: This can restrict blood flow and oxygen to your discs, causing them to degenerate faster. Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.
Recommendations for keeping your back healthy
Avoid movements that jolt or strain your back. Exercise regularly to keep your muscles strong and flexible. Consult a physician for a list of low-impact, age-appropriate exercises that are specifically targeted to strengthening lower back and abdominal muscles. Maintain a healthy weight and eat a nutritious diet that promotes new bone growth. Use ergonomically designed furniture and equipment at home and at work. Switch sitting positions often and periodically walk around the office or gently stretch your muscles to relieve tension. Put your feet on a low stool or a stack of books when sitting for a long time. Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. Sleeping on your side with your knees drawn up in a fetal position can help open up the joints in the spine and relieve pressure by reducing the curvature of the spine. Always sleep on a firm surface. Don’t try to lift objects that are too heavy. Lift from the knees, keep a straight back, and objects close to the body. Quit smoking. Smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine, which can contribute to spinal disc degeneration. Smoking also increases the risk of osteoporosis and impedes healing. Coughing due to heavy smoking also may cause back pain.
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Should I lift weights with a pulled back muscle?
Treating a Pulled Back Muscle in 8 Steps – No matter where a pulled muscle is in the body, the steps to treat it are generally the same. However, it’s important to talk to a medical professional before treating an injury because symptoms of other injuries, such as disc problems or a broken bone, may resemble strains and sprains. After talking to a professional, try the following steps: 3
- Apply cold. Cold helps reduce inflammation, which is the primary source of pain in the first few days. The faster you can apply cold to a pulled back muscle, the faster you may reduce pain, help control swelling, and start the healing process. Apply a cold pack for 15-20 minutes as soon as the injury occurs. Take a break of at least 20 minutes between each cold application.
- Use compression. Applying compression bandages or using an active compression system may help reduce swelling and edema so the damaged tissues can repair themselves more quickly.
- Rest. Right after a muscle strain, it is important to limit your activity level and avoid movements that increase pain. After the initial pain subsides, returning to previous level of activity may help prevent the muscles from growing weak.
- Stretch. According to Kojo Hamilton, MD, as you return to activity, gentle stretching exercises may improve tissue healing by bringing more blood flow to the injured area. Applying heat to the area prior to stretching may also be beneficial. Ask a doctor about the right stretches for your condition.
- Pain medication. Pain medications do not assist with the healing process and should only be used, in the short term, to provide relief with normal activities of daily living. If you feel that you need pain medication, consult with your physician to determine the type and dosage that is appropriate for your specific situation. Use medication sparingly because pain is actually an important indicator throughout the recovery process.
- Perform strength exercises. As the pain subsides, try adding strengthening exercises in addition to stretching. Allowing the muscles to weaken with too much rest may actually slow recovery and increase the chances of future injuries.
- Get a massage. You can further increase blood flow to the injured tissues with a light massage.1
- Apply heat. After the first few days, alternating cold therapy with the application of heat may help reduce pain and increase circulation. Try a 20-20-20 rule: 20 minutes of an ice pack followed by a 20-minute break, then 20 minutes of heat. Repeat as necessary, allowing 20 minutes between hot or cold therapy.
For strains in lower back muscles, treatment might also include light, low-impact exercise to help maintain range of motion and build muscle strength.3 Walking, cycling, and swimming are some good options for staying active while recovering from lower back muscle strains.
After recovering from a pulled back muscle, help prevent future injury by practicing good posture and properly warming up before activity.5 Game Ready provides both therapeutic cold and active compression to help reduce pain, control swelling, reduce edema, and pump freshly oxygenated blood to healing tissue, all of which can help facilitate a return to normal activity.
You can rent a system for use at home or find a provider near you to start your recovery today.
Can I keep exercising with back pain?
Low back pain: Why movement is so important for back pain Created: February 9, 2012 ; Last Update: February 14, 2019 ; Next update: 2022. One of the most important things that people with low back pain can do is to stay as physically active as possible in daily life and exercise regularly.
Things that have been proven to help include exercises to strengthen the core muscles, as well as certain exercises used in pilates, tai chi and yoga. Not moving enough can weaken your core muscles, make the pain worse over the long term, and also lead to other health problems. Because of this, people who have back pain are often advised to get “more exercise” and “stay active.” There are good reasons for this advice: For a start, regular physical exercise has been shown to reduce pain.
What’s more, it’s a good idea to go about your daily life as normally as possible, and not to let the pain limit your activities too much. Isolating yourself or no longer doing things you enjoy will make it even harder to cope with back pain. More than 100 studies have looked into various types of exercise.
- So this is by far one of the best studied treatment approaches.
- Exercise and sports are also among the few treatments that have been proven to relieve back pain.
- This is the reason why most medical societies around the world recommend regular exercise for people with back pain.
- Although exercise programs don’t always make back pain go away completely, they often relieve the pain and improve your overall fitness and mobility.
Research has also found that doing regular exercise can reduce the frequency of recurring back pain attacks by almost half. It is often hard to stay active if you are in pain. Some people are even scared of moving too much. They might be worried that the pain is a sign of a back injury.
- But that isn’t the case when it comes to non-specific back pain, which is usually caused by many different factors.
- These include weak or tense core muscles, inappropriate physical strain, a problem with the processing of pain in the brain, as well as stress and other types of emotional strain.
- It’s important to remember that if the doctor has ruled out (rare) serious causes of the symptoms, there is no need to be afraid of movement.
Types of exercise that have proven effective include the following:
Special programs consisting of exercises to strengthen and stabilize the deep abdominal (tummy), back and pelvic muscles, as well as endurance training and exercises to stretch the muscles in the calves, hips and thighs. Pilates : A total body workout in which strengthening the deep core muscles is key. Tai chi : Originally an Asian martial art, tai chi is now practiced with slow, flowing movements. It can improve your balance and coordination skills, strengthen your muscles, and is said to help you relax your body and mind. Yoga : An ancient Indian practice that aims to improve your body awareness and health. Yoga typically involves getting into various positions or carrying out certain sequences of movements that aim to promote strength and flexibility, body awareness and a good posture. Going on walks : Initial research suggests that going on a walk or brisk walking (Nordic walking) can help relieve back pain if done regularly – for instance, every two days for 30 to 60 minutes.
A doctor or physiotherapist can help you to find a suitable type of exercise that is tailored to your situation and that you enjoy. People who have medical problems often find it helpful to have a course instructor or trainer with the appropriate experience.
You may need patience to start off with: It can take several weeks for the exercise to have an effect. Your body also needs to get used to the extra movement. That can be tiring and lead to harmless muscle ache, and it sometimes makes the pain worse for a while. In order for it to help in the long run too, you have to stick to your exercise program.
This requires a lot of motivation, and many people find it tough after a while – particularly if they have a very busy job or home life. It is then important to find a way to fit the exercise into your daily routine. Many people find it easier to exercise regularly if they sign up for a class or exercise together with friends.
- Some make sure they pack their sports bag before going to work, or increase their motivation by rewarding themselves with a treat afterwards.
- It is also a good idea to have check-ups with a physiotherapist or doctor to adjust the exercise program if necessary.
- If you spend a lot of time sitting in an office, you can be kind to your back by taking regular breaks and moving your body – for instance, by getting up out of your chair, stretching, doing short exercises and going on a walk in your lunch break.
Some people find it helpful to wear a fitness tracker watch, or to set reminders on their mobile phone or computer. Other ways to get more exercise into your daily routine include the following:
Not using escalators or elevators (lifts), and always taking the stairs instead. Regularly getting off one stop before your actual bus or tram stop, and walking the rest of the way. Trying to walk or cycle as much as possible. Getting up and walking around while you’re talking on your mobile or cordless phone.
Patient education classes provide you with facts and techniques to help prevent or relieve back pain. There is usually both a theoretical and practical part. The classes typically include modules on the anatomy of the spine and the back, advice on postures and movements that don’t put harmful strain on the back, and back-strengthening exercises.
- These courses are often offered at gyms and physiotherapy practices.
- Patient education classes haven’t yet been scientifically proven to help people with chronic low back pain.
- Some studies found that they helped a bit, while others did not.
- There are a lot of different patient education classes, sometimes differing greatly in terms of what they cover and the approaches they use.
This might explain why the results of the studies varied so much.
Should you rest or exercise with back pain?
Low back pain refers to pain that you feel in your lower back. You may also have back stiffness, decreased movement of the lower back, and difficulty standing straight. There are many things you can do at home to help your back feel better and prevent future back pain.
Stop normal physical activity for only the first few days. This helps calm your symptoms and reduce swelling (inflammation) in the area of the pain.Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Use ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, and then use heat.Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).Sleep in a curled-up, fetal position with a pillow between your legs. If you usually sleep on your back, place a pillow or rolled towel under your knees to relieve pressure.Do not do activities that involve heavy lifting or twisting of your back for the first 6 weeks after the pain begins.Do not exercise in the days right after the pain begins. After 2 to 3 weeks, slowly begin to exercise again. A physical therapist can teach you which exercises are right for you.
EXERCISE TO PREVENT FUTURE BACK PAIN Through exercise you can:
Improve your postureStrengthen your back and abdomen, and improve flexibilityLose weight Avoid falls
A complete exercise program should include aerobic activity such as walking, swimming, or riding a stationary bicycle. It should also include stretching and strength training. Follow the instructions of your health care provider or physical therapist. Begin with light cardiovascular training.
Walking, riding an upright stationary bicycle (not the recumbent kind), and swimming are great examples. These types of aerobic activities can help improve blood flow to your back and promote healing. They also strengthen muscles in your stomach and back. Stretching and strengthening exercises are important in the long run.
Keep in mind that starting these exercises too soon after an injury can make your pain worse. Strengthening your abdominal muscles can ease the stress on your back. A physical therapist can help you determine when to begin stretching and strengthening exercises and how to do them.
JoggingContact sportsRacquet sportsGolfDancingWeight liftingLeg lifts when lying on your stomachSit-ups
TAKING MEASURES TO PREVENT FUTURE BACK PAIN To prevent back pain, learn to lift and bend properly. Follow these tips:
If an object is too heavy or awkward, get help.Spread your feet apart to give you a wide base of support.Stand as close as possible to the object you are lifting.Bend at your knees, not at your waist.Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift or lower the object.Hold the object as close to your body as you can.Lift using your leg muscles.As you stand up while holding the object, do not bend forward. Try to keep your back straight.Do not twist while you are bending to reach for the object, lifting it up, or carrying it.
Other measures to prevent back pain include:
Avoid standing for long periods. If you must stand for your work, place a stool by your feet. Alternate resting each foot on the stool.Do not wear high heels. Wear shoes that have cushioned soles when walking.When sitting, especially if using a computer, make sure that your chair has a straight back with an adjustable seat and back, armrests, and a swivel seat.Use a stool under your feet while sitting so that your knees are higher than your hips.Place a small pillow or rolled towel behind your lower back while sitting or driving for long periods.If you drive long-distance, stop and walk around every hour. Do not lift heavy objects just after a long ride.Quit smoking.Lose weight.Do exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles. This will strengthen your core to decrease the risk of further injuries.Learn to relax. Try methods such as yoga, tai chi, or massage.
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