Regardless if your back injury was an acute occurrence or something that has been nagging you for a while, you want to proceed carefully when getting back to the gym. The worst thing that you can do is to rush the process and set yourself up for chronic back issues. Here are three workout tips to keep in mind when returning to the gym after a back injury.
Go When You’re Ready
Spinal cord injuries vary from individual to individual. Your progress may be slow depending on the extent of your injury. For this reason, it is important to remember that your return to the gym is an individual decision and should not be influenced by any factors other than when you are personally ready. It’s natural to experience a little anxiety for a while when you first get back to the gym. The fear of injuring yourself again is implanted in your brain and can be overwhelming at first. This is why you need to only go back to the gym when you feel ready.
Start Off Slow
Now is not the time to push your body to the limits. While you may want to go all-in when returning to the gym, it is a much smarter approach to start off slowly and build your endurance back up. Before each workout, it is also especially important that you stretch your back muscles. This will boost blood flow to the muscles and make them loosened up and warm. You can then work up to performing range-of-motion exercises and moderate strength training. Once you are able to handle these movements without any pain, you can consider adding in low-impact cardiovascular work. Give your body time to rest and recover if you experience any type of discomfort.
Be Aware of Warning Signs
Although you do not want to let fear hinder your workout, you also need to be aware of the warning signs of more serious back problems. Issues to look for include tingling or numbness in one or more of your extremities or radiating pain down your legs. If you experience any of these worrisome symptoms, you should stop exercising and seek medical evaluation by a professional. It is not worth the risk of re-injury to push through the pain.
Recovering from a back injury is a long road. The most important thing to remember when recovering is to listen to your body. You are the best judge of when you are ready to start your recovery process and get back in the gym.