Bad Back: Stretch Training or Strength Training.

What do you usually hear for men with bad back? There are often two variants:

  1. A doctor advised me to stretch (commonly, hang from a pull-up bar, sometimes with additional weights) 
  2. A doctor advised me to develop back muscles (in this case man with bad back begins train hyperextension and good morning almost every day).

In short about those who were advised hanging from a bar to relieve the pain. How many of you are practicing it to stretch the back? It is the answer...

When you are hanging deep back muscles are contracting reflectively to stabilize vertebrae. Additionally, if you have disk herniation, compression is increasing.

Also while hanging, shoulder joints are loaded a lot. Some guys like to twist or to move sharply at the same moment. Don’t do these ever!

If you want your back become stretched and relaxed, choose between two variants:

  1. Lay on a fit ball (it supports the back)
  2. Use balasana (it is known as child’s pose)

Now let’s talk about those who were advised to develop back muscles. Truly say it’s a right recommendation, but there is very important nuance here. Let’s see.

What are the reasons of back pain? The reasons are differ:

  • osteochondrosis;
  • spinal disc herniation;
  • joint disease of the spine;
  • muscle and tendon inflammation;
  • tumors;
  • heart diseases & disorders;
  • kidney disease;
  • and others.

Pain is always pain, but reasons are differ and need doctors’ treatment. Only a professional can make the correct diagnosis.

 Osteochondrosis is always number one in the reasons list of back pain. Osteochondrosis is a spinal disease which causes degenerative changes of intervertebral cartilages and vertebrae and leads to formation of bony outgrowths.

Some time later these outgrowths increase, cause narrowing in the spinal canal and putting pressure on roots of nearby nerves. During degenerative displacement of the vertebrae nerve root compression is increasing. 

In such a situation normal and nature reaction of the body is a pain and spasm. This reaction is needed to immobilize injured part and take it time to recover.

Now knowing that, we should return to doctor’s advice about developing the back. Already injured back begins take the load. As a result more pain and more spasms. (Like gym version of ’50 shadows of Grey’).

What to do in such a case? There are two variants:

  1. Take your time for passive recovery – just have a rest;
  2. Help your muscles – train only those which help keeping right position of the body, these are buttocks and abs.

When gluteus and abdominal muscles are weak all holding body work lays on spine. That is why we train gluteus and abs first and only after begin to train back.

You should start with several foolproof exercises:

  • Bridge;
  • Goblet squat (this exercise has not axial load)
  • Squats with cable row
  • Plank (with proper technique only)
  • Reverse Crunches

If you feel constant pain, spasms, compression, visit doctor immediately!

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