The experience of lower back pain can’t be the cause of one’s good feeling. Yet more than 540 million people have suffered from lower back pain, and the number is increasing. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest doing some exercises that are helpful to prevent and reduce lower back pain.
There are various types of exercise machines for bad backache. Not all of them are beneficial for lower back pain; instead, only some are beneficial. It’s common to raise a question: which exercise machines are helpful and which are not? By reading this article, you can know the best exercise machine for lower back pain and some workout equipment that should be avoided.
Low back pain (LBP) is also called lumbago, a common disorder involving the back’s muscles, nerves, and bones. 60% to 80% of adults will, at some point in their lives, experience low back pain, and it’s more common in women than in men. The symptoms of lower back pain can limit movement and disrupt everyday living. Low back pain may vary from acute to chronic, mechanical to non-mechanical, according to their causation.
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Causes of Lower Back Pain
Injury, stress, bad posture, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, hormonal imbalance in the menopausal period, arthritis are mainly associated with the cause of lower back pain. Here is a short description of how these facts tend to low back pain.
Injury/Stress: Injury can damage the disks of the lower vertebrae with associated muscles and ligaments. Sitting with a bad posture for a long time can also be harmful to vertebrae.
Sedentary Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle is not suitable for health, and it’s responsible for being obese. Obesity can put a lot of stress on the joints of the body, especially the backbone. And that tends to some degenerative diseases of vertebrae like herniated disc, osteophyte, discs prolapse, etc.
Menopause: Women have a higher chance of lower back pain than men because of their variable lifecycle. At the age of 45 to 50, women face menopause when many hormonal changes tend to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease where the density of bone, significantly vertebral bone’s density decreases and the bone becomes weak and fragile.
Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the lower back spine (lumber, sacroiliac joints) and develops through wear and tear. Spondyloarthritis is another group of inflammatory diseases of bone, and Ankylosing spondylitis is the most common type of them.
All of the causes that have been mentioned above are responsible for lower back pain. And there are no permanent curable treatments for most of the cases. Health practitioners suggest exercise for long-term management and prevention of lower back pain.
How Exercise Help with Lower Back Pain?
Exercise can help to reduce the risks of lower back pain and also for prevention. The scientific mechanism of reducing/preventing lower back pain by doing exercises is as given below.
- Exercise can increase blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and stimulate recovery of ligaments or muscular injury.
- Exercise can allow you to move your joints smoothly that can ease your vertebral joints.
- A significant amount of calories have burned during exercises that tend to manage your weight. The more you can reduce your excess weight, the less stress put on your joints.
What Type of Exercises Help Most?
It would be best if you did only those types of exercises that have a good effect on your joints without stressing. Some low-impact workouts like using an elliptical machine can allow you to do low-impact exercise but are effective for low back pain. A stationary bike for cycling, treadmill for walking/running, and weight machine for weight lifting exercise will also be helpful with an optimum level in an appropriate way.
But exercise with leg press machines, jumping rope, ab rollout, and push-ups are not suitable for low back pain. Instead, they also have harmful effects on the back spine that increase your lower back pain. Now go deeper and explore each of these exercises equipment with their mechanism and impact your lower back pain.
Also Read: It can be difficult to locate the most effective elliptical machine for the money. These elliptical machines are among the best and most affordable options available on the market.
How Does an Elliptical Machine Work?
Elliptical machines are famous worldwide as low-impact exercise tools. The working mechanism of an elliptical machine is as simple as user-friendly. The elliptical machine allows you to exercise in a comfortable standing position with a straight back (spine in a neutral position). You can do various exercises like climbing, running without pressure to the joints by striding/gliding on the elliptical footpath. The resistance, stride length, incline settings are adjustable manually according to your needs. The elliptical machine gives you a nice natural motion and a moveable handlebar for upper body workout and proper balance.
How Elliptical Machines Help in Lower Back Pain?
An elliptical machine can help you exercise without putting a lot of stress on your vertebral joints. It also allows you to exercise with a straight back position that is helpful for the back spine. Low impact exercise with natural striding motion can reduce the pain in the rearrange.
Another great benefit of an elliptical machine is that you can burn a significant amount of calories by workouts with an elliptical machine. More than 324 calories have been burned in 30 minutes of low-impact elliptical machine workouts of a 70 kg person. Calorie burning tends to lose excess weight, and that is helpful for the back spine.
How Stationary Bike Works?
Stationary bikes are popular machines for indoor cycling. Cycling is an excellent exercise for health. The stationary bike has a seat, two pedals, and two handlers. The pedals have resistance for cycling without any wheel. The exercise mechanism is as simple as pedaling forward and backward with your foot.
How Stationary Bikes Help in Lower Back Pain?
A stationary bike is more effective for lower body exercise than an upper body. It is primarily helpful for leg muscles, including calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. It is also effective exercise equipment for lower back pain with a good posture and comfortable seating position. But if you have pain in the sacroiliac joint (bottom of the spine), the seating position may not be comfortable for you.
In addition, a stationary bike is also helpful for calorie burning. A moderate level of exercise with a stationary bike can burn 252 calories in 30 minutes for a 70 kg person. The calories burning can be effective for weight loss, and that is helpful for lower back pain.
How does Treadmill work?
A treadmill is used as indoor gym equipment for walking or running. It is operated by a motor that turns a belt. And the belt rotates as you walk, jog or run.
An interesting fact about treadmills is that in 1818 it was introduced as a punishment tool by an English engineer named Sir William Cubitt.
How do Treadmills help in Lower Back Pain?
The treadmill mainly works for aerobic and lower body exercise. Both quadriceps and hamstrings, the calves, and the glutes are primarily involved with this workout and strengthen these muscles. It is also effective for lower back pain with walking or moderate speed of running. But jerking from the high rate of running can cause injuries to the vertebral column.
Moreover, 288 calories have been burned in 30 minutes with five mph (miles per hour) of running speed on the treadmill for a 70 kg person.
Shock absorber treadmills are the greatest choice for you if you want to reduce the stress on your lower body and avoid knee injuries. However, not all treadmills include stress absorption devices; only a few do.
How Weight Machine Works and Helps in Lower Back Pain?
Weight machine is used for weight training and is effective for upper back exercises. The device doesn’t need extra energy/motor to work. Gravity is the primary source of resistance of this machine. You can adjust the weight according to your capability.
Though weight machines are mainly effective for building upper body muscles, it is also helpful for overall health including the back spine. But it would help if you always were concerned that too much weight could put a lot of stress on your rearrange. Moreover, your range should be straight during weight training workouts.
Exercises that Avoid Lower Back Pain
Not all exercise and exercise tools are helpful to reduce lower back pain. Some exercises and workout equipment also can be harmful to your back spine. It would be best to avoid these exercise tools to prevent vertebral column injury, or these may increase your lower back pain. Here are four workouts that are restricted with your lower back pain.
Exercise with Leg Press Machines
Though leg press is an effective exercise to strengthen leg muscles, including quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes (muscles of the buttocks), it’s not recommended for you to have lower back pain because the exercise puts a lot of stress on your lower back spine.
By doing this exercise, you have to sit with your back against a padded backrest. Set your foot on two footrests and start to bend your knees. The footrest (weight/force) presses to bend your knees, and you have to move the weight by straightening your legs. By repeatedly doing this exercise, a lot of stress is put on your backbone (vertebral column).
Leg press machine allows you to do various exercises like One-leg leg press, Higher foot placement, Lower foot placement, but no one is appropriate for you with low back pain. Moreover, leg press exercises have a risk of rounding your back with too much weight or injuries for the knees when you press with a lot of force to extend your legs.
Jumping rope is a funny way of exercising, like playing with a string. Though it’s a popular exercise for a healthy heart, it’s not good for the joints of your body. A lot of stress/jerking is put on your vertebral column, knee, and almost all other joints during jumping with a rope.
Jumping rope is a straightforward exercise, and there is no need for any heavyweight or expensive equipment. A tiny (about 9 feet) piece of string is enough to do this exercise. You have to hold the edges of the rope in each hand and start with the rope behind you, so it’s right at your heels. When the rope swings up overhead, you have to bend your knees slightly and jump over it. Though the process is as simple as described, it’s not helpful for you with lower back pain. So, it’s highly recommended to avoid this exercise.
Ab Rollout Exercise
It’s more common to see this equipment to do abs exercises to manage belly fats. You can target all the abdominal muscles, including external obliques, internal obliques, transversus abdominis, and the rectus abdominis, by doing this exercise. This exercise can reduce your belly fats and strengthen the muscles of the abdomens.
It would be best if you had proper guidance to do this exercise with safety. Improperly doing this exercise can lead to an Injury that can damage your back spine or increase the pain if you have a history of lower back pain.
Push-ups are more common as an effective exercise for strengthening the core and upper body. Push-ups with an optimum level can be safe and helpful to improve muscle mass & heart health. You can do this workout on the floor without any tools, or you can use push-up bars as you wish. Though it seems that the process of push-ups is straightforward, many injuries result from using an improper technique. So, you may need an instructor to do this exercise effectively.
Push-ups activate the lower back muscles, and this may increase lower back pain. Push-ups also can be the cause of temporary compression of the intervertebral joints in the spine. Push-ups with wrong ways may wear and tear the intervertebral discs. Moreover, push-ups can be the cause of elbow injury and wrist pain. So, it’s better to avoid weight-bearing exercises like push-ups for those people who have back pain.
Also Read: It is essential to track your fitness while working out on an elliptical machine; continue reading to learn about some of the top fitness trackers now available on the market.
This article demonstrates that not all exercises are appropriate for lower back pain. Some are mostly benefited, and some are as usual, and some also with restriction. So, you have to select the best exercise and exercise equipment according to your body’s conditions. CDC(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommend doing low-impact workouts for lower back pain (LBP) that put less stress on your joints and spine. It’s easy to assume that an elliptical machine is one of the best pieces of equipment that fulfills this(low impact exercise and puts less stress on the joints) criteria nicely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which is the best massage for lower back pain?
Ans: Structural massage and Swedish massage are very effective for lower back pain. This massages target the muscle from the buttocks to the neck which is very relieving for lower back pain. Sports massage and deep tissue massage also may be helpful if the lower back pain originated from any injury.
Q: Why lower back pain with Covid-19?
Ans: The people who have from Covid-19 may experience muscle pain and body aches. The reason is the body’s inflammatory response, which can be felt in the upper and lower back.
Q: Why lower back pain when walking?
Ans: Generally when we walk, the pressure is increasing on our spine that can make the lower back muscles tighten and spasm, which leading to lower back pain.