Amongst the most common causes of back pain are sleeping badly, lifting incorrectly and, of course, sport related injuries.
The back is divided into four zones: cervical, thoracic, lumbar and pelvic. Unfortunately problems are relatively common all of the zones but far more in the lumbar region. If you suffer pain when you are exercising it is possible that the cause is reasonably obvious.
If you suffer pain during exercise, the first thing that you should ensure is that you are the correct weight. If you’re taking part in sport and you’re overweight you are probably putting a lot of extra strain on your joints.
Running is a good sport to use as an example of why this is. When a runner hits the ground after each step, the impact on the knee joint is estimated to be around two to three or eight times his or her body weight. If the runner weighs 50kg then the impact will be around 120kg. If the runner weighs more then the force will rise too. If we go running whilst carrying a lot of extra weight the impact suffered by the joints in the legs and back will be much greater.
Of course, if you are overweight, the first thing to do is to take steps to reduce that situation. There is no reason not to exercise, quite the opposite, it is just important that we choose a low impact sport such as swimming or cycling (read more about low impact sports in our recent post on the subject).
In my experience the majority of the people that aren’t overweight and still suffer from pain during exercise are people that don’t exercise regularly. If one doesn’t have a sufficiently developed muscle structure then the muscles can easily be strained. An example that I come across quite regularly: A cyclist comes to a hill. It is the first time that he has been on his bike for several months and he is out of shape. Because his legs aren’t prepared, his back will tries to compensate for the lack of force from your legs causing pain in the lumbar region.
There is a very simple solution to this type of problem: abdominal and lumbar exercises. If we ensure that the waist area is strong enough for the activities that we are interested in doing then this type of pain will disappear. In reality if you, like me, are into running or cycling you should always ensure that this area is strong.
Of course, there are other reasons that you may be suffering from lumber pain and some of them are serious. As always we recommend that if you have pain in this or any other area, especially if it is a particularly sharp or long lasting pain, that you visit your doctor.
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