Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Getting Started

If you are undergoing a chronic medical pain condition of back, joint, hip or knee pain, then you should not start any exercises without proper guidance or getting clean chit from your doctor. This means that first you should get in touch with a medical expert and set an individualized exercising program, which effectively targets your painful areas and works towards reducing back and joint pain. In fact, you can also get in touch with a physical therapist or an athletic trainer and see which exercise is the most appropriate for you. The reason being a particular exercise, which may be absolutely fine for others may not be appropriate for you and can aggravate your painful condition.

In fact, a good trainer, before starting with your exercises, would first analyze your body or do a postural assessment before proceeding further. He would look into how you sit, stand, and walk. According to MR. Joshua Margolis, a renowned personal trainer and the founder director of Mind Over Matter Fitness, in the New York city, over the time or with old age; postural imbalances are common in the body. It may be because you had a habit of carrying bag on one shoulder, or carrying a child on one hip. So, postural imbalances at some point in life will occur.

Exercises for Back and Joint Pain Relief

  • Lie on a carpet or mat with your back straight on the floor. Now rest your legs on a chair in such a way that your heel from knee to your feet rest completely on the chair. This position would turn out exactly to be the same, just like you were sitting on a chair (with the knees free or in relaxation mode) but here, the pressure on the spine region is now completely displaced.
  • On a stability ball, lie with your belly on it and let your body start molding towards the side of the ball. This will greatly help with back and joint pain relief.
  • Another exercise is to lie completely on your back and hold your knees close to your chest. In yoga, this exercise or pose is popularly known as happy baby pose and helps in relieving back and joint pain.
  • Furthermore, doing squats is another effective exercise in reducing joint and back pain. Most of the trainers recommend squats to their clients who suffer from these painful conditions. Even if clients face some problem doing squats, the trainers modify their exercises so that it doesn't intensify the pain.
  • Cardiovascular exercises are another prominent set of exercises besides the simple stretching exercises to improve chronic back and joint pain. This has also been embarked by Dr. Trent Nessler, Vice President at the Champion Sports Medicine in Birmingham, Ala, who asserts that cardiovascular fitness plays a crucial role in relieving low back and knee pains.
  • Strength training on the other hand eases the joint and back pain. But most people find themselves in a dilemma of whether they should go for machines or free weights. According to training experts, both have their own places. Initially when an individual is learning to lift, machines here can help in easing the pain since heavy lifting of free weights can initiate the back and joint pain. Moreover, if machine exercises are helpful in alleviating your pain, then there is no problem in staying hooked with these automated machines.
  • Two other sorts of physical fitness that can help in easing the chronic back and joint pain are strength and flexibility. To improvise on them, Dr. Trent Nessler recommends for Pilates and Yoga. According to him, these two physical exercises are just phenomenal in reducing back and joint pain. However, one should do them under an expert`s supervision and especially for someone who is suffering from rigorous back or joint pain. If you are a patient of high back or joint pain, then you should seek advice from an expert who possesses sound knowledge on this topic. Going solo without any guidance will undoubtedly bring back or even worsen the actual pain.

The key here is finding an exercise, which does not aggravate your back and joint pain, but rather alleviates it. For instance, if by walking on a treadmill enhances your pain you can try for an elliptical trainer. If that also produces pain you can opt for swimming or participate in some aerobic classes. For those suffering from joints pain, being in water works wonders for relieving joint pain.

Which Exercises to Avoid if you are Suffering from Back & Joint Pain?

People who suffer from intense joint and back pain should generally avoid high-impact exercises. For instance, lot of people like to run which is a tremendous exercise, but at the same time running also leads to wear and tear of the joints of the knees. Same applies for a high- impact game like football or basketball where you are running, sprinting and shifting in all the directions. So all these forms of activities certainly plays havoc on your joints and should be avoided.

Similarly, people with intense back pain wonder if they can ever return to their favorite outdoor games like golf or tennis, especially golf, which is a unilateral activity where you are just rotating in one way. In a sense, for those with back pain, Golf will certainly prove to be nightmare. Tennis as compared to golf is slightly better than golf since you have a backhand in it and you are rotating both sides in it.

However, this does not mean that you have to bid adieu to these sports. All you have to do is to strengthen your neglected part of your body and bring the body back in balance. You need to get in touch with a physical therapist who would help you in doing those exercises that strengthen the other half of your body. The core strengthening in Pilates will do that, just like twisting and rotating exercises with any medicine ball.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 6, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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