Living with a spinal condition such as degenerative disc disease can be difficult, and it can also be difficult to find the motivation to get up and move around on a regular basis. The pain and discomfort of movement can make you feel like sitting all day, but it’s important to move and stretch as much as you can. At the Colorado Spine Institute (CSI) in Loveland, our staff can work with you on strengthening your spine and, now that the weather in Northern Colorado is getting warmer, it’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy some easy activity.
Walking and Running
Walking and some easy running can be a good way to strengthen your spine and help your muscles move. You don’t have to overexert yourself and just a few minutes of walking can be beneficial. You can strengthen your legs, hips, and torso, and this can create better stability in your spine. You’ll also promote better circulation in your spine, which nourishes the tissue in your back. If you’ve been suffering from limited mobility or flexibility, walking or jogging can help loosen everything up.
Swimming is a favorite activity of people of all ages, and for those with chronic back pain from a spinal condition, it can be a great alternative to other activities. Swimming is a low-impact exercise, and you can move as much as you want in the water. The buoyancy allows you to move how you want, and gravity isn’t acting as forcefully on your back as it does if you were running or horseback riding. If you have tight muscles, the warm water of a heated pool can be very beneficial.
If you’re feeling ambitious (and your doctor says it’s okay), cycling can be the perfect spring activity. Even if you’re only pedaling around your neighborhood, riding your bike can improve your lower body strength and improve your cardiovascular health. There’s no weight on your spine while you’re cycling, and you can ride for as long as you like. It’s probably best to avoid mountain or off-road cycling, at least until your spine health improves or your specific condition is treated.
Finding the Right Balance
Once you’ve tried a few of these outdoor activities, it’s important to find the right balance. You don’t want to overdo it and risk hurting your spine even more or exacerbate a herniated or bulging disc. As your spine specialist, we can recommend the best way to ease back into exercise and avoid injuring yourself. On top of improving your spine health, you can also strengthen muscles and boost your heart health, which can led to a better quality of life. Instead of sitting around all spring, you can get out and enjoy nature and enjoy life.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment with CSI, please call us at (970) 373-2682 or fill out the form below. We’ll thoroughly examine your spine, help you pinpoint the source of your pain, and recommend the best course of treatment.