While we certainly advocate taking regular exercise it is important to do so in a safe way. Exercise adds pressure to our joints and muscles. If not done properly it can cause issues to your back and neck.
If you’re heading to the gym to exercise then here is some advice to follow to keep your back safe.
Get ready …
- Visit your chiropractor who can advise on the approach you should take to a new exercise routine. He should also be able to advise you on signs to look out for to indicate that you may be overdoing it.
- Make sure you have the right clothing for the type of exercise you are going to be doing. Clothing that is too tight can constrict your movement and can lead to injury. Footwear is especially important.
- Warm up first. Many injuries and strains occur are a result of not warming up beforehand. (And remember too warm down too!)
- If in doubt, make sure that there are no medical reasons why you can’t start the exercise your about to undertake. This is especially important if you haven’t taken any regular exercise before. Your chiropractor or GP may be able to advise on this.
Use equipment properly
- Keep your legs at least a hip’s width apart and always bend your knees when using weights. Remember to avoid bending from the waist as this will increase the stress on your lower back.
- Keep weights you are working with as close to your body as possible to avoid injury. A weight held at arm’s length can have the effect of being up to 5 times heavier!
- Avoid over reaching and stooping when using machines as you can stretch your back. Make sure the seat of the machine is positioned correctly to avoid this.
Workout your back
- Incorporate stretches and exercise specifically designed to strengthen your back. Incorporate a simple programme developed by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) that is designed specifically to help. Watch the video below.