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If you experience lower back pain or sciatica, you probably want to know how to alleviate your symptoms and avoid flare-ups or recurrences. Staying active and avoiding bed rest can help you do both.

Staying active can entail a variety of tactics, such as continuing your normal activities, incorporating a simple exercise, such as short walks, and/or following an organised and guided exercise programme.

This article discusses the risks of prolonged bed rest as well as the distinct advantages of engaging in low-impact physical activity while suffering from back pain.

How prolonged bed rest might aggravate back pain

While lying down for a while may be beneficial if your back pain is severe, continuous bed rest may not be a smart option for treating your painful back. When you lie down for long periods of time and limit your physical activity, the following changes may occur in your spine:

Muscle deconditioning

Your spine’s extensor and flexor muscles, which aid in forward and backward bending movements, become weak and lose bulk (atrophy). These muscles, particularly the erector spinae and multifidus, are crucial back stabilisers that help you tolerate compressive pressures. 

Variations in disc size

When you lie down, the size of your intervertebral disc expands due to swelling caused by fluid absorption. During this time, the risk of injury, such as herniation, is substantial, especially when bending. 5 Changes in spinal biomechanics

Prolonged lying down changes the usual lordotic (reverse-C shape) curve of your lower spine and flattens it, affecting the typical mechanics of your spine. 

Injury risk is increased.

The alterations listed above can weaken your back and aggravate your pain. Furthermore, due to spinal instability and limited load-bearing capability, these modifications increase the risk of injury. 

2 suggestions for staying active when suffering from back pain

Physical activity can assist increase blood flow to your back tissues, improve muscular strength and flexibility, nourish your spinal discs, and strengthen your joints and bones.

Here are two pointers to get you started:

1. Deal with the current pain

If your pain prevents you from being active, try the following helpful pain-relieving measures:

    Icing therapy

    Heat treatment

    Analgesics used topically


You will be able to do more physical activities once your pain level has decreased.

2. Participate in low-impact activities that help you gain strength.

Staying active when suffering from back pain does not always imply engaging in high-impact activities. Begin with low-impact activities that will gradually increase your strength and spinal stability while requiring less effort and exhaustion, such as:

    Simple hamstring stretches

    Simple workouts for the lower back

    Back pain yoga poses for beginners

    Programme for Water Therapy Exercise

Before beginning a new fitness programme, consult with your doctor or physical therapist, especially if you are experiencing significant back discomfort. Stop immediately and consult your doctor if you develop sharp or sudden discomfort while exercising. When performing the prescribed activities, make sure to use proper posture, form, and technique.

When compared to bed rest, following these tips may result in longer-term alleviation and fewer recurrences of back pain. Maintaining a consistent routine of any of the above low-impact activities will improve your general well-being and may dramatically improve your spinal health.


Know more about Ayurvedic Spinal Disk & Radiculopathy Treatments.