This blog is excerpted from an NBC News Better article from December 18, 2019 by Stephanie Mansour.

Even if exercise is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health, there’s still a risk of injury. It may be a simple pulled muscle or soreness that requires rest, while other more serious injuries can cause you to make a trip to the doctor’s office.

Christian Glaser, DO, doctor of sports medicine at MedStar Health at The St. James, and Dr. Michael C. Schwartz, MD, Chairman of the Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at ProHEALTH Care, break down common injuries, including how to know when your injury is worth a trip to the doctor’s office (and what treatment may look like) and how you can prevent them in the first place.

Low Back Injuries

Like shoulder injuries, most low back injuries occur because of working out with too heavy of a weight and/or with poor technique and form, Glaser explains. “Low back injuries can occur to a variety of structures: muscles, discs and bone,” he says. How do you know if you’ve injured your low back? It could present itself as soreness or feel like a pulling or dull ache. Luckily, “injuries in the lower back while working out are usually acute in nature,” Glaser says. “A common occurrence is the muscle strain, which often times can be seen at the end of a workout, trying to get just one more repetition in. The athlete is not only fighting the workout load, but also some muscle fatigue, which then results in injury. Injuries can become more complicated if there is a rotational force involved, which can damage a disc or even bone. Treatment for back injuries include physical therapy, NSAIDs, a variety of back injections and surgery.”

So how can you avoid these low back injuries? Glaser provides a few tips:

  • No lifting or bending over at the hip; instead you should squat down and lift from the legs.
  • When lifting objects off the floor and squatting, make sure that knees do not go past the toes.
  • Keep legs shoulder-width apart during exercises.
  • No twisting/turning motions when carrying heavy objects.
  • Work on building up good core strength to help protect the back.

Speaking of building core strength, as a Pilates instructor, Glaser highly advises clients to work on abdominal exercises like planks or Pilates roll ups to help keep the core in check. Then, when you start performing the aforementioned exercises like lifting, bending, squatting, etc. your core will engage and can help support and protect your low back.

Are You Staying In Pain?

We encourage all our guests to maintain a careful and mindful low back exercise routine. However, if you are still in pain despite this special attention, it may be likely you have a physical abnormality within the spine that requires surgical repair. Our targeted, minimally invasive procedures were designed and patented by Dr. Bonati to treat spinal abnormalities WITHOUT the need for general anesthesia, highly-invasive open back surgeries, excessive scarring and a prolonged recovery. We can treat all levels of the spine. If you are dealing with chronic pain, allow our team to review your case to determine if you are a candidate for the Bonati Spine Procedures. To get this review started, simply call us at 844-663-0310 or complete our online contact form and one of our patient advocates will reach out to you directly.

Read the full article from NBC News Better here: