Is it recommended to work out with back pain?

Is it recommended to work out with back pain?

When you develop pain such as back pain, it becomes really hard to do everyday tasks let alone work out. A lot of people suffer from back pain which is mainly due to poor walking and sleeping posture. This gets aggravated further when people go to the gym when they lift heavy weights. Sometimes, it’s better to take a step back and ditch the gym in order to recover.

Having lower back pain makes people unable to lift heavier weights and thus, create that overload their muscles require over time. However, some people just push through the pain and keep going. If that’s the case then it’s something you shouldn’t be doing. You might be pushing through now but your ability to do so will diminish over time. It’s better to recover and then get back into the gym for maximal results.

Image: drscrolls

However, many people suffer from different forms of back pain. Some are so severe that you should stop working out with them, there are some cases where something can be done and lastly, there are some that are false positives i.e. they think they have back pain but it’s something else. In order to see which case is your case, let’s first differentiate between soreness and pain.

Soreness vs Pain

One case is that people think that their back hurts but instead, it’s actually sore. Soreness can occur due to working out, improper exercise form or by using your back when lifting heavy objects. Soreness does hurt, but that just means your muscle requires a bit of rest like a day or two instead of a proper recovery period.

When your muscles are sore, it’s easy to tell. It’s a dull, aching feeling which leaves the muscles tender or hard. The soreness can subside within 72 hours but there have been times where it takes almost a week to go away. For example, a lot of people who work their legs report that their legs don’t stop feeling sore until the leg day of the next week. However, the soreness eventually goes away, in a short period of time.

Image: Abu Dhabi Personal Trainers
Image: Abu Dhabi Personal Trainers

When it comes to pain, that’s the body’s way of signaling that something has gone wrong. The pain is moderate and perhaps not as severe as soreness which can be really painful. However, the main differentiator between pain and soreness is that the former renders you incapable of performing day-to-day tasks. If you have to make adjustments to your lifestyle due to the pain, it’s most likely pain.

Should one work out with pain?

If you actually do have pain then no, you should not. Take a step back, go see a doctor and get yourself evaluated. Working out further will only aggravate the pain further which will make life miserable for you. Pain is the body’s way of telling you that you’re doing something wrong.

Take a closer look at the exercises you are doing and see how much it involves the lower back. Perhaps poor form is the reason for your pain. Identifying these issues will really help. If you’re sore, then a few small exercises before your main workout will help. This will warm up your sore muscles and you’ll enjoy a pain-free workout.

Image: yandphilly
Image: yandphilly

If you do need to sit out from the gym, then you don’t have to completely step away. You can work through the pain in a smart way. Here are some neat methods to treat back pain. These include a few exercises that are responsible for strengthening the lower back and the muscles around it. If you strengthen these muscles, then you can go back to your previous workouts without fear of developing pain.

For now, switch to alternatives so that you don’t feel any pain. For example, switch from running to cycling. Wear a belt whenever you work out to keep your back safe. Do chest exercises lying on the ground instead of on the bench to eliminate stress on the lower back. A few tweaks here and there will help you a lot in the long run.

 

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