Back pain is a common condition that usually improves by itself within a few weeks or months, according to the NHS. It could be caused by sleeping in an awkward position, having bad posture, or even by a minor injury. Staying active and doing exercise is one of the best ways to reduce back pain, it said. One of the best cardiovascular exercises for people with back pain is rowing, it’s been claimed.
Rowing is a low impact sport that benefits the health of your back, according to orthopaedic surgeon Dr Branko Prpa.
It’s a rhythmic exercise that strengthens the back muscles, while also having a low risk of injury.
But you could be making your back pain worse if you don’t maintain good form while rowing, he warned.
“There are many reasons people suffer from lower back pain – from long hours at an office job in an uncomfortable chair, to an accident or other trauma,” said Prpa.
“There are several low-impact exercises that those suffering from mild lower back pain may want to consider adding to their existing workout in order to build muscle strength and improve overall flexibility, and in the process reduce the likelihood they will experience a back injury in the future.
“One of the best cardiovascular exercises someone can do, jumping on the rowing machine is a low impact way to strengthen lower back muscles too.
“The smooth, controlled movements of rowing limit the possibilities of injury, but make sure you are maintaining good form, or you may find that the lower back pain has worsened.
“Before you begin any casual or structured exercise plan, make sure to check with your doctor [or back specialist] to make sure you are in good physical condition.”
You could also lower your risk of back pain by regularly going swimming, added the orthopaedic surgeon.
Swimming is the “perfect” sport for people with lower back pain because it’s a low impact exercise.
The water’s buoyancy reduces stress and discomfort on the back, and swimming also helps to get the blood flowing and muscles moving in the back.
Lower back pain is the most common type of back pain in the UK, said the NHS.
For short-term relief from backache, try taking some over-the-counter painkillers.
Overweight or obese patients could also reduce their back pain by simply losing weight.
Being overweight puts extra pressure on joints, which could make back pain worse.
Speak to a GP if you have back pain and a swelling in the back, difficulty passing urine, or chest pain. It could be a sign of something more serious.