Protect Your Back

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis fifteen years ago, and I have had several flare-ups flanked by periods of remission during that time. I'm pleased to say a number of new drug treatments have become available since I was diagnosed, but I've always been keen to explore alternative treatments, such as hydrotherapy, acupuncture, homeopathy and massage, as a way of complementing my medical treatment. I started this blog to document the alternative treatments I've tried and share information about current research into drug-free treatments for managing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. If you've tried an alternative treatment that's eased your symptoms, I'd love to share your experiences on the blog.

Protect Your Back

21 August 2019
 Categories: , Blog

If you're an avid weightlifter but have had treatment for lower back pain with a certified chiropractor you may find it daunting going back into the realm of training again. The risk of injury will seem great, but that doesn't mean that you can't get back into developing strength and flexibility. Clearly, you'll want to follow the advice of your chiropractor, but there are a few things you can buy that will help to equip you for a safer and more effective workout. However, it's important to note that equipment isn't a substitute for a strong back and core. 

Start From The Ground Up

One difficult thing to deal with when recovering from a bad back is lifting weights during exercises like the deadlift. The issue comes from rounding the back and putting pressure on the lower spine. To combat this, you need to lift by pushing through the heels, bring the hips under the spine, pushing the chest up and lifting straight up. This drives the force down and doesn't put unnecessary strain on the spine which can displace the disks. This can be assisted by wearing dedicated weightlifting or powerlifting shoes. These will have a flat sole and in some cases will have a wedge of wood under the heel to allow you to push through the ground. The wedge shape itself actually helps to engage the hip flexors and position the hips properly. 

Belt Up

When you lift you may also want to try a weightlifting belt. This attaches with velcro around the waist and lower back and provides a couple of different benefits. First, it helps to compress the abdomen so that when you lift and hold your breath you create a more stable core by having something to push your core muscles against. It's almost like having a balloon in your belly which inflates to create a stable column. Second, it limits your core's ability to move so that if you lift poorly and forget to brace, you are less likely to strain a muscle. This is used by weight lifters who lift heavier weights, but back braces themselves are often recommended by chiropractors to limit range of movement. 

Roll and Release

Between sessions with your chiropractor and after your workouts, you could try to use a foam roller to click your back and provide a release and deep tissue massage to the muscles surrounding the disk which will offer an increased range of movement and pain relief. 

Work with your chiropractor to find the right process for you.