What is the correlation between elliptical machines and back problems? Are these machines even good for those with bad backs?
Is there a chance that these machins could actually provide relief for those with bad backs?
Those suffering from back problems seem to have lots of questions on their minds when it comes to elliptical trainers.
Sure, you may have come across all the great things people are saying about this innovative gym equipment. But the fear of aggravating your current back problems may be holding you back from taking the plunge.
So are elliptical trainers perfect for everyone with back problems? Unfortunately, the answer is a no.
In spite of all the positives that these machines bring to the table, they are not for everyone.
Elliptical Workouts And Bad Back Patients
People who have issues with their lumbar discs are recommended to stay away from elliptical trainers entirely. This is because the problem usually gets worse when patients forced to bend forward significantly.
Since working out on an elliptical typically involves forward-bending movements, medical experts recommend finding another piece of equipment to stay in shape.
Also, keep in mind that the amount of pressure placed on the spinal region during cross-training on an elliptical is similar to walking or jogging on a treadmill.
If you experience discomfort in your back during treadmill workouts then you are likely to get a similar feeling on an elliptical.
Advantages of Elliptical Machines on Back Pain Patients
If none of conditions stated above applies to you then an elliptical can be a great way to get low-impact cardio exercises.
In fact, here are some of the top reasons why these machines may be just what your bad back needs to gain relief.
1. Minimal Stress
Elliptical machines enable users to gain upper and lower body workouts without much stress on the joint areas. This is achieved via their unique design which ensures your feet never leave the ground.
It stays fixed on the pedals that make forward and backward movements along the gliding rails.
Unlike running and walking which involves you feet hitting the ground with every step, no major impact is transferred to the joints, ankles, and knees.
High impact workouts can aggravate the pain in your lower back area as some of the force that hits the joints is transferred to the compressed spinal discs.
Ellipticals can actually enhance the strength in your back and joints without worsening your pain.
2. Optimum Spinal Flexion
Compared to running on a treadmill or your favorite trail, elliptical trainers are naturally designed to give your lower back enhanced spinal flexion and rotation.
If the nature of your back pain doesn’t aggravate after consistent forward bending movements then this can be a great way to make your back stronger.
Your primary physician is the best resource to find out whether consistent spinal rotation and flexion can be good for your condition or not.
3. Correct Posture
Wrong sitting, walking, running, and sleeping posture is a leading cause of back problems among millions of patients.
Elliptical movements demand upright posture during the entirety of exercises and unless this makes your back pain worse, it can actually be a great way to strengthen muscles and correct some of the most popular spinal problems.
4. Flexible Resistance
The latest elliptical trainers feature handlebars that you pump forward and backwards in the course of working out. They can be of massive help strengthening your back region and giving users relief from several forms of pain.
However, these handles can be ignored if your pain gets worse during the forward and backward pumping movements.
The fact that ellipticals come with several degrees of resistance means you can easily strike a balance between staying with levels challenging enough for your body without worsening your pain levels.
5. Work Out at Your Own Pace
Ellipticals give users the ability to workout at their own pace. If the nature of your back problem is such that you cant engage in highly intensive sessions, these machines give you the freedom to choose your own pace without feeling like you're wasting your time.
The only surefire way to find out if your back pain is compatible with elliptical trainer exercises is to seek medical advice from your surgeon or physician.
These professionals have in-depth knowledge about different spinal conditions as well as the long-term impact of each type of fitness equipment on them.
Even if you get the green light, getting the right model can come in very handy.
Also, applying some common sense during every routine can be very important.
Always stay within comfortable levels of incline, ramp, and resistance, and avoid any routines that feel too strenuous.
In fact, don't hesitate to stop immediately if any exercise starts feeling painful.