Jul 09

Back Pain After Exercise

Exercise is a good ally to avoid back problems but can become a double-edged sword. There is no doubt that a strong and fit back will be less likely to suffer an injury. And when you suffer an injury, you will recover sooner and better. But it is a double-edged sword because poor exercise can be harmful. We can do it badly by the type of exercise that we realize or by how we realize it. The most common is excess exercise even without us being aware of it. Let’s look at why back pain occurs after exercise.

Back Pain After ExerciseTo understand it, there are several factors to keep in mind:

– When a muscle is exhausted we do not realize it. It is easy to notice that we lack the air or even that we burn a muscle by the intensity of exercise, but the body will not tell us if that muscle has run out of batteries. This is a problem. I am going to give an example that will sound to many people: If I do an ankle sprain, when the pain subsides, I have one leg that is strong and another that has been weakened by the process. If I start walking I do not notice anything, but after a while we get tired of the weak leg and we begin to limp without realizing it. Our body knows that the leg is tired and adopts postures to protect it but our conscious self does not realize.

– When exercising our muscles are heated, and they contract each other alternately with changes of position and angles of action. Spinning with the above, when a muscle gets tired it produces a dynamic instability that will hurt our back if we do not stop. The fact that I wanted to comment on is that we will almost never realize that we are hurting because of this. The pain does not begin the moment we are forcing the back , it will appear a few hours later or even the next morning, already cold. In fact it is very typical the pain that wakes us up at 5-6 in the morning, which very often is due to overexertion performed the previous day.

– The third factor that I want to make clear is that well-done exercise tires the muscles and there is a recovery period where our back is tired. This means that any activity we do afterwards can be dangerous because our muscles will not respond well. The typical situation is this: We go out to exercise in the morning and we return home with an immense sense of well-being. Then, in the afternoon, I’m going to take my son in his arms and, bum! I get a prick in the back.

Once these three concepts are understood, we will apply it to the back. When we exercise, we must control the amount of exercise we do. On the one hand is the total time we train, but it is also important how much effort we make without rest, that is, how many stops we take to rest. The goal is to train the muscles for the right time to fatigue them but never train with exhausted muscles.

How do we know how long my muscles will last? The answer is that we do not know it and that is why we have to start with efforts that we know we can perform without problems and increase progressively. The sequence will be very different depending on each situation. If I leave an operation and my muscles have stayed at 40% of their normal strength and endurance, the progression is going to be slow. On the one hand, we would start with very affordable exercises and it would take many weeks to regain strength. This is so because of an almost mathematical question. To go from 40% to 80% you have to double the force that is a lot and can cost months. However, if we simply take two weeks without training and our muscles are at 80%, 100% increase is only a 25% improvement and in 2-3 weeks we can regain our fitness. That is to say, The less strength we have, the harder it is to recover it. There is also another reason that makes recovery difficult. When we have little strength it is easy for us to do an overexertion when training or in the activities of our daily life. Despite making small efforts, we do damage due to the precariousness of the muscle and the scarce ability to protect us it will have. This makes training harder.

In short, if we are in bad shape, if we take time without exercise, if we come from a surgery or a back pain, you have to start with smooth workouts and be very progressive in the increases. That is, patience.

How do I know if I’ve spent and trained with exhausted muscles? The answer here is simple, a few hours later or before getting up in the morning, we will have pain.

Finally, I would like to emphasize the third point. If we have trained well the muscles will be tiring. We must rest and be careful the rest of the day because we will be more fragile and it is easier to injure ourselves with a simple gesture done badly. This may be, for example, washing our forward-leaning teeth. To do this well, it is important to be clear about what gestures can damage your back. For that I invite you to go reading the posts of the section “postural hygiene of the back”.

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