You go about your Saturday doing chores around the house or working in the yard. Maybe you’re standing for long periods of time. Or you’re shopping and reach for something on a high shelf. Suddenly, back pain kicks in.
Whatever happens, when you deal with mild to moderate back pain, you’ll naturally want to sit down or lie down. It’s actually not one of the better things you can do for your back and here’s why.
Why You Don’t Want to Rest with Back Pain
Sitting or lying down can do more harm than good. Simply put, the less you move, the stiffer your back will become.
When you’re resting in bed, it can change your spine. That’s because the muscles supporting the spine stop working. The ligaments and tendons can lose flexibility and elasticity. Lack of movement weakens the muscles around the spine. And that leads to stiffness. As soon as the muscles stiffen, they can be at risk for muscle spasms and worsen the back pain.
Of course, sleep is mandatory. The back is designed for sleeping every day. You just don’t want to rest it more than that. Bed rest can make the curve of your spine flatter. This changes the spine’s mechanics. That’s why it’s important to stay active when you’re awake.
Considering the muscles and soft tissues don’t move during sleep, the back will often feel stiff as soon as you wake up. Moving around will help alleviate that. Movement is medicine.
Walking Therapy for the Back
The back is designed to stay active. You don’t have to do anything fancy. Walking will do the trick. It keeps the spongy disc between the bones hydrated. When you don’t hydrate the discs, they’ll shrink and put pressure on the spine.
It’s the best form of physical therapy for your lumbar discs. You don’t need to go to a physical therapist. Instead, take two- to three-mile walks several times a week. In fact, more physicians recommend walking or being active instead of taking over-the-counter pain medications.
Walking increases the blood flow, which feeds oxygens and nutrients to the spinal muscle. Sitting and bed rest reduce this blood flow. It also flushes out toxins. They can mount up when the back muscles don’t move enough. Flushing toxins improves flexibility.
That’s why back pain improves after you walk around for a bit after waking up. It stretches your muscles and ligaments that support your back. As a result, you increase your range of motion.
If you’d like a little variety, other low-impact activities you can do include yoga, core muscle strengthening exercises, stretches, and aquatic therapy. And remember to maintain healthy habits for your back.
Have a question? Please contact us or call 214-823-2052. We have two conveniently located offices in Addison and Dallas serving patients in Dallas, Addison, Plano, Frisco, Garland, and other cities in the DFW metroplex.