Get Moving! Mobility and Spinal Pain

Exercise is an important part of maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, but it also holds significance for those living with spinal pain.

Back pain is very common, affecting around 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. While anyone may experience spinal pain, it tends to be more prevalent as we age. For those suffering, you know too well how spinal pain can be a deterrent from even the simplest of daily activities- it may be keeping you from quality sleep, from social outings, fitness and much more. While working out might not sound appealing in that type of state, intensive exercise and early mobilization may be the key to eventually overcoming your pain.

Multiple research studies support the positive connection between exercise and spine health. Rebound’s Dr. John Kafrouni, a board certified specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, sees the magic of mobility as a way to alleviate spinal pain. With extensive experience in comprehensive spinal, sports and neuromuscular disorders and spinal cord injury, Dr. Kafrouni finds that spinal pain is a recurring reason behind patients’ visits to Rebound.

“Early mobilization during acute attacks of back pain is one of the keys to a quick return to function. The concept of turning muscles on that have been turned of by pain is the key component of a good rehabilitation program,” says Dr. Kafrouni.

Addressing your spine pain with exercise can be powerful, and it starts with understanding your spine. The cause of your pain could be related to a specific use of your spine or movement, or it could be degenerative. If you’re experiencing serious pain, you should visit with one of our specialists before taking on intense physical activity.

“Avoiding activity completely can sometimes be more detrimental to rehabilitating your spine,” explains Dr. Kafrouni. “The key is to develop an exercise plan that gradually increases in intensity, so that your back can adapt to routine everyday use without as much distress.”

Sticking with regular exercise strengthens the components of your spine so that attacks aren’t as intense. “Activity keeps blood and nutrients flowing to important areas such as ligaments, nerves and tissues, which helps prevent inflammation and tension,” says Dr. Kafrouni.

Like we mentioned in our New Year’s Resolutions series on orthopedic-friendly exercise, exercise is most effective when it combines strength training, stretching and aerobic conditioning. The same goes with rehabilitating your spine. Incorporating these three elements will improve your overall fitness, health and prevent further pain and injury.

Dr. Kafrouni, along with our other Rebound providers, recommends individualized goals for recovery. The best exercises for your spine will depend on your specific diagnosis and the level of pain you may be experiencing. Make a visit with us to find the best pain prevention plan for you. In the meantime, check out some of these resources and exercises to get you on your way to relief!

Rebound Back Pain 101

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) – Spine Basics

North American Spine Society (NASS) – Back Pain Basics

NASS – Know Your Back – Back Pain Prevention and Exercise

AAOS – Spine Conditioning Program

AAOS – Low Back Pain

AAOS – Low Back Pain Exercise Guide

Video: Why is Exercise Important for Lower Back Pain?

Back Pain Exercises and Stretches