health tips, health and wellness

Can a Stationary Bicycle Improve Back Pain?

Of the many possible exercises that can be used to strengthen a person’s back one of the best suited to someone suffering from back pain is using a stationary cycle.

This is because riding a stationary cycle can build strength in the back muscles, diminish pain and make the spine healthier. All of these are very valuable to the person who needs to find a gentle way to exercise him or herself into better health.

  

 As well, a stationary bicycle is not an expensive piece of equipment to buy. It need not be purchased new and does not require all the fancy gadgets that many of them have and which only add to the overall price. A reasonable one in good condition can be found through the classified ads for under a hundred dollars. If on the other hand you like all the gadgets, the mileage counters and the calorie counters, you can spend much more to get one like that. A new one with gadgets can easily cost five hundred dollars.

 

Caregivers Must Learn Lifting Methods to Avoid Back Pain

 As people age they need more care then can be provided by a housekeeper though less than a full time nurse or hospital. This means that a relative, usually the adult son or daughter, will be doing the care of a senior who because of injury or illness is not as mobile as they once were. They will need to be lifted as part of their care. Family caregivers, who often have no medical training in the best methods to move the patient, are winding up with injuries from moving the person wrong. Sometimes so are the patients.

 Research has shown the that the caregivers are just as often the spouse as they are the adult child of someone who has been hurt, or has suffered a stroke, or has a medical condition like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or paralysis. No matter the cause these people need to be lifted out of bed and either into a wheelchair or a chair, they need to be washed, fed and clothed. All too often the caregiver, even the professionals, wind up with back pain because of the work they are doing to care for their patient.

 What can be done to alleviate this problem? The caregiver needs to learn the best way to lift their patient. This is for their sake as well as the sake of the patient they are caring for. If it’s a relative you will do them no good by seriously straining your back and not being able to help them any longer. If you are a professional caregiver and you strain your back, you will lose income as well as make it necessary for your patient, who may just have gotten used to you and your routines, to have to start all over with someone new.

 There are things that can be done to try to lessen the changes of hurting your back if you care for an elderly relative or do care giving as a profession. First, do not lean over too much. It is better to sit down beside someone than to talk to them while leaning over, which will cause back strain. Do not use your legs as the lifting mechanisms learn to lift properly.

 If you are helping someone get out of bed and into a wheelchair you must stand with your feet as far apart as your shoulders. If you need to bend do so with your knees. Put the patient’s feet on the floor. Bring the person close to you and turn with them towards the chair. Lean down with them to help put them into the wheelchair. Be certain the patient is holding onto the chair with both hands, taking some of the weight, before you lower them into the wheelchair. Having avoided twisting awkwardly and not using only your arms to take the weight you will have transferred your patient safely for both of you. Keep using methods like this and you’ll be able to do your job without the back pain.

 

Many people with back pain are hesitant to go bicycle riding out on the streets for fear of having severe enough trouble while they are out on their bicycles that they may have difficulty in returning home. As well, since the roads are not always even, including the bike paths, the act of riding a bicycle on these roads can in itself cause more back pain. A stationary bicycle offers no such danger. It is a very appropriate means of exercise since it is both low impact and low stress in nature and you don’t have to leave your home to workout. All of these factors are easier on those who are suffering from recurring back pain.


 Some disbelievers will claim that an exercise bicycle is only truly useful for improvement in leg and abdomen muscles but that is not the case. Using an exercise bicycle actually improves posture, adjusts the spine and so strengthens the back and adds to its ease of mobility and flexibility. It also prevents stiffness. Even though, in this case, it is not the reason to use an exercise bicycle, another benefit to the user is improved cardiovascular health.

 Riding a stationary bicycle is considered a form of aerobic exercise. Normally these can be too hard on the person who is trying to recover from back pain, but there are a few aerobic exercises, like this one, that are considered low impact enough to be worth exploring. These include swimming, walking and yoga. Generally speaking any aerobic exercise shows health benefits to back ache sufferers. This is at least partly the case because exercise increases the body’s production of endorphins and they are the body’s natural painkillers. Endorphins therefore not only assist in pain relief, they are able to diminish stress, and depression too. Often people fighting back pain have to deal with the added problems of stress and anxiety. This is due to their concerns about having own again hurting their backs.