Back pain is a common condition that usually improves by itself within a few weeks or months, according to the NHS. It could be caused by sleeping in an awkward position, having bad posture, or even by a minor injury. Staying active and doing exercise is one of the best ways to reduce back pain, it said. You could lower your risk of back pain by simply going for a short walk every day, it’s been claimed.
Going for a short walk is the perfect type of workout for your overall health and wellbeing, according to orthopaedic surgeon Dr Branko Prpa.
You could even try using a stair machine at the gym, or simply walk up and down your stairs at home, he said.
“There are many reasons people suffer from lower back pain – from long hours at an office job in an uncomfortable chair, to an accident or other trauma,” said the surgeon.
“There are several low-impact exercises that those suffering from mild lower back pain may want to consider adding to their existing workout in order to build muscle strength and improve overall flexibility, and in the process reduce the likelihood they will experience a back injury in the future.
“You may not think of walking as an exercise, but it most certainly is – in fact, it’s an Olympic sport.
“Walking even a few times per week at a brisk [but not fast] pace for a few miles – on a treadmill or outdoors in nature – provides exactly the type of workout needed to ensure health and wellness.
“If walking is not your speed or it’s cold and icy where you live, take it indoors and consider the use of a stair machine or an elliptical trainer.”
You could also lower your risk of back pain by swimming, added Branko. Swimming is a low impact exercise that uses a number of back muscles.
The water’s buoyancy also reduces stress that could lead to discomfort and pain.
Meanwhile, rowing is is one of the best cardiovascular exercises that someone can do, he claimed.
It’s another low impact sport that strengthens the lower back muscles, too. The smooth movements limit the possibility of injury, but it’s still crucial to maintain good form.
Lower back pain is the most common type of back pain in the UK, said the NHS. For short-term relief from backache, try taking some over-the-counter painkillers.
Overweight or obese patients could also reduce their back pain by simply losing weight.
Being overweight puts extra pressure on joints, which could make back pain worse.
Speak to a GP if you have back pain and a swelling in the back, difficulty passing urine, or chest pain. It could be a sign of something more serious.