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Preventing & Treating Back Injuries & Pain at the Gym

How to Avoid Back Injuries at the Gym

How to Avoid Back Injuries at the Gym


Prevention is the most important alternative to pain management. Learning how to prevent back injuries, and taking the time to perfect your form can save you from years of dealing with pain. That’s why we’re happy to present this information – in hopes that it will help you live pain free.

Exercise is an important part of your weekly routine – for the sake of your overall health and wellbeing – but nobody wants to put themselves at risk of long term pain and discomfort. Developing a back injury at the gym may prevent you from achieving your fitness goals, and worse, it could make day-to-day activities uncomfortable and painful. Fortunately back pain doesn’t have to be part of the program – that’s why it’s important to take the right precautions and preventative measures when working out.

Some of the most common back injuries for people who lift weights are targeted in the lumbar region and the lower spine, and these injuries can lead to serious problems – especially if left untreated. Sooner is always better when it comes to back and spine injuries, so if you are experiencing back pain, we recommend you contact us or call (201) 962-9199 to book an appointment at our medical facility in Ramsey, NJ where we’ll be able to diagnose and treat your condition – without the use of surgery.

The Importance of Staying Healthy

One of the most important things you can do to avoid back injuries at the gym is to maintain a healthy weight. Having extra weight on your spine may cause the discs to bulge and eventually become damaged. Reducing the weight that is supported by your spine will reduce the wear and tear on the disc and prevent future pain and discomfort.

Another health concern comes from cigarette use, which can alter the chemical structure of your intervertebral discs, leaving them vulnerable to rapid dehydration. As a result, these discs can become brittle, which increases the risk of tearing. For this and many other reasons, you should try your best to stop smoking.

Start at the Core

Another way to reduce the risk of back injury at the gym is to develop a strong “core” region. Your core is a collection of muscles that starts with your midsection, but it extends beyond just your abs – including muscles like obliques, rectus, transversus, and psoas muscles in the abdomen, along with back muscles such as the quadratus lumborum and paraspinals. A strong core is essential for a healthy, pain-free back because these muscles work together to provide support for your spine and skull.

Choose Your Routine Carefully

Some gym exercises can be more punishing on your body than others, and some should be limited or avoided altogether (without the assistance of a certified personal trainer). For example, Military Presses and Weight Assisted Lunges should be largely avoided, as they can compress the spine from the head area.

Overexerting yourself with too many reps or too much weight can lead to pain and discomfort, so always be sure to know your limits and work with a friend or spotter to keep you safe. It’s also important to make sure that you are maintaining the correct form and performing your exercises the correct way. When in doubt, ask. For example, one of our back specialists at our Ramsey, NJ facility will be able to show you the right way to exercise for your particular goals.

Don’t Ignore It

It is important to understand that back pain can be an indication of a more serious injury, when pain starts to manifest you should take note of your symptoms and see a specialist. Your instinct might be to fight through the pain and discomfort, but you may be setting yourself up for serious problems in the future – it’s not worth the risk!

To learn more about avoiding back injuries at the gym, and what you can do to eliminate back pain, talk to one of our doctors or physical therapists at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today by calling (201) 962-9199.

At Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine, we specialize in nonsurgical pain management, and back pain and spine injuries are just a few of the many conditions we diagnose and treat in our Ramsey, NJ medical center. For more information, please see our full list of our nonsurgical services, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.

We look forward to being your #1 solution for nonsurgical pain treatment.

Tips for Exercising Workouts at Home

Tips for Exercising at Home

Tips for Exercising at Home


Numerous studies have confirmed the benefits of incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Working out for just 20 – 45 minutes each day can lead to tremendous improvements in your health, wellbeing and weight loss. But that doesn’t mean you need a gym membership to reap these benefits – there are many ways that you can maximise your potential to exercise in your own home.

Below are some tips and motivations to keep you on the right track!

Be consistent

An important attribute to a successful exercise regime is consistency. No exercise program in the world will work if you don’t do it consistently. This also helps you to stay focused on the mind-set of exercising, reducing the risk of giving up or procrastinating.

Follow an effective exercise regime

The top three suggestions by The American Council on Exercise are strength training, interval training, and increased cardio/aerobic exercise. Creating a healthy balance of these activities, is an important part of following an effective regime. If you’re just starting, or if you are looking for suggestions of what kinds of exercise to work into your routine, one of our doctors or sports medicine specialists in our Ramsey, NJ medical facility will be able to demonstrate the exercises that are best for you and your goals.

Set realistic goals

Don’t worry if you can’t run a marathon from the get go. Make a decision to start small and work your way up. Consider starting with a 15 minute walk each day (stretch first!), and then add time, distance, and intensity from there.

Use the buddy system

Working out with a friend who also wants to take part in exercise will motivate you to achieve your goals. This technique means you can encourage each other and strengthen your relationship at the same time.

Find an plan that fits within your life

Make sure that your exercise regime fits around your everyday life, without being too inconvenient or complicated. For example, this may be as simple as fitting in some simple floor exercises before you leave for work in a morning, or adding in some leg lifts while you brush your teeth.

Stay positive

It is important to stay happy in order to maintain your motivation. This can be achieved by participating in activities that you enjoy, and avoiding those that you don’t. For example, if you hate weights, you might want to try elastic bands. If the treadmill doesn’t suit you, you might want to try an elliptical or rowing machine to stay in shape.

Keep track of your body clock

To maximise the benefits you get from your workouts, try to exercise at the time of day when you have the most energy. If you are a morning person, consider scheduling your exercise in the AM. This type of activity will mean you achieve the most out of the effort you put in.

Ask a professional

When you are first getting started, consider seeking the advice of a professional. A physical therapist or a specialist in sports medicine can help you perfect your exercise form, and they can tell you what types of exercises will help you get the most out of your workout. Because of our team approach, we have both kinds of specialists (and more!) under one roof.

Get inspired

Fitness is a state of mind. Stay focused and inspired by watching videos, reading stories and blogs about people who have been successful in their exercise regime. Inspiration to succeed is everywhere!

Be patient

There will inevitably be ups and downs as part of your exercise routine, but remember to stay patient. It may take time before you start to achieve solid results, but your patience and persistence will be well worth it.

We hope you found these tips helpful. To learn more about how to effectively exercise at home, talk to one of our medical specialists at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today by calling (201) 962-9199.