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Aerobic exercise for Back Pain

Aerobic exercise means carrying out a physical activity that causes your heart rate to go up enough to make your body use its supply of oxygen to burn fats and glucose. The more oxygen that is used the more carbon dioxide is produced, which means that breathing has to become faster for the process to carry on smoothly.

The aim of taking part in aerobic exercise of any kind is to raise the heart rate to increase the use of oxygen and to attain a level of controllable breathlessness.
There are two types of aerobic exercise, high-impact and low-impact. High-impact is tougher and demanding, it is good for when you have already reached a medium level of fitness.

Low-impact is better for people who are just getting into exercising and for those who suffer from injuries; it is gentler and participants can take things slowly and build-up gradually to be fit enough to undertake high-impact aerobic exercise without putting too much pressure on their bodies.


All types of exercise are good for preventing injuries, with aerobic exercise being in particular very good. A strong and well-toned body will form a firm strong spine and spinal structures. Raising the flexibility and on the whole strength of the spine can reduce the risk of injury, and if an injury does take place, the pain experienced is likely to be not as much as someone who has a weak spine. High-impact aerobics can in fact encourage bone growth and stop osteoporosis developing in later life. Low-impact aerobic exercise lowers the risk of ‘jarring’ the spine, and there is a smaller risk of lower back injury in those who take part in this sport.

By taking part in an aerobic exercise programme, weight can be managed effortlessly and a healthy BMI can be maintained. This lowers the stress put on the lower back and prevents muscles and ligaments from becoming strained. By doing aerobic exercise it increases the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killers, meaning there’s less need for over-the-counter medicine or prescribed drugs.

Types of Aerobic Exercise

Walking is a perfect way for beginners to start a regular form of aerobic exercise. The level of force can be changed when needed, this form of exercise can be done at any time of the day, and it’s cheap, reliable and can be a social activity if a group does it together. Support from others will give you the push you need when you don’t feel like doing it regularly. Walking can also be included on holidays, in all seasons and the setting can be different to stop you getting bored and keep you motivated and on the track to looking better and feeling the results.

If you need something with less impact the step-machines are a good alternative to walking. Step-machines work on a gliding principle which takes away the shock from walking on hard ground. Step-machines can be used in a gym or health centre, or of course in the users own home if it is affordable to them. Again the level of intensity which you exercise at can be increased when your ability and level of fitness increases.

Aqua-aerobics is a enjoyable group activity that can be found in many leisure centres. This kind of activity is good for those with chronic back pain as the weightlessness and resistance caused by the water helps you get stronger without putting pressure on your back. Again endorphin levels can be increased and heart rate will rise. Most aqua-aerobic providers have different classes depending on the level of fitness and the level of ability at the activity so there’s a class for everyone.

Aerobic classes have become very fashionable in the last twenty years. They let beginners progress right up to an expert level, with individual classes targeted at each group’s level. They provide a social setting, which can help ease the feelings of loneliness and depression which are linked with chronic back pain.
It is very important for people taking part in any activity or class to notify their instructor of any existing injury or complaint they have, as certain exercises may be unsuitable for them.

Each person should choose an activity that they are comfortable with and that they will not get bored of to make sure they exercise programme is long-term and not for a few days or weeks. Exercise programmes should start steadily at an appropriate level and build up fitness slowly to avoid an injury from occurring.

Doing aerobic exercise can be a very good way of preventing any back injuries happening in the first place. If you already have an existing injury, this type of exercise can help to lower the pain level which is felt and avoid the condition from worsening. An exercise programme should become a way of life and be included on a regular basis and long-term into every individual’s way of life.

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