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Back pain and exercise: How fitness can help


Your back (spine) is made up of vertebrae (bones) that make up 5 spinal regions: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, and the coccyx. Between each vertebrae sits a shock-absorbing disc that allows movement and provides flexibility.

The purpose of your spine is to protect your spinal cord. Nerves from the spinal cord pass through the intervertebral foramen to the body, allowing messages to be transmitted to and from the brain and the periphery (e.g., your limbs).

The spine is supported by ligaments such as the anterior longitudinal ligament, the posterior longitudinal ligament, and the ligament flavum, and the core muscles such as the transversus abdominis and the multifidus. The unique and complex structure of spine allows humans to move with great freedom, but also requires coordinated interactions between vertebrae, vertebral discs, ligaments, and supporting musculature in order to achieve healthy function.

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Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)


You have likely experienced the evil of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) several times before. It is the intense feeling of pain in certain used muscles around your body after a hard workout.

It becomes most noticeable 2 – 3 days later when getting out of bed is suddenly a painful challenge, showering becomes a nightmare as we struggle to lift our arms high enough to wash above our hips and we might even have to slide down the stairs on our… well, you get the idea.

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Work Your Upper Body and Core


From a standing position, bend at the hips and place your palms flat on the floor in a short Down Dog position. Make sure your fingers are spread wide and you're pressing firmly into the fingertips. Gaze at a spot on the floor slightly in front of you. Gently rock your weight forward as you push off the balls of the feet, trying to get space between your feet and the floor. Take small hops at first to get comfortable with having all your bodyweight in your hands.

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The Importance of Activity


Take a well-deserved rest day. After all, a day off allows your muscles to recover, rebuild, and become stronger.

But chill days aren't just for lounging on the couch. To speed your recovery and get your blood flowing to help feed your weary muscles, take yourself for a 20-minute stroll, bike ride, jog, or swim, and then show your muscles some TLC with massage and stretching.

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