Back pain – the ‘particularly gentle’ exercise that could protect you from lower backache

Back pain is a common condition that affects most people at some point in their lifetime, according to the NHS. But you could lower your risk of developing backache by regularly going cycling, it’s been claimed.

Back pain could be caused by sleeping in the wrong position, having bad posture, or even by having a minor injury.

In most cases, back pain isn’t anything to worry about, and it’ll get better by itself within a few weeks or months.

You could get rid of your painful backache, or even prevent it from appearing in the first place, by doing certain exercises.

One of the best exercises for people with back pain is cycling.

Biking is one of the most common types of aerobic exercise, and it has a number of handy benefits for back pain patients.

It puts less stress on the spine compared with other forms of activity, according to chiropractor Dr Thomas Hyde.

Some patients may also feel more comfortable sitting forward in the leaning position.

For those with lower back pain, you could find stationary bicycles that have a reclining seat, for added comfort.

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“Biking is a popular form of aerobic exercise, and is often a favoured form of exercise by people with low back pain conditions,” said Hyde.

He wrote for medical website Spine-health: “Biking is less jarring to the spine than many other forms of aerobic exercise, such as jogging or aerobics class.

“Stationary bicycling is particularly gentle on the spine, and the variety of spinning classes now available can provide a vigorous aerobic workout with minimal stress to the low back.

“Select the best bicycle for your purpose. For casual bike riders, a mountain bike with higher, straight handle bars [allow more upright posture], and bigger tires [more shock absorption] may be a better option than a racing style bicycle.”

But, if you’d rather do less strenuous exercises, you could always try doing the ‘pelvic tilt’ yoga stretch.

The yoga pose includes slowly shifting the muscles around your lower back and hips to increase flexibility.

That subsequently helps to release any muscles that have become tight, while lowering your risk of backache from returning.

Exercising your lower back should also stimulate blood flow to the region, which speeds up the healing process.

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.

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