Risk of Spinal Injury and use of Weights

As an Osteopath I see quite a few people who have had back pain caused by using weights.  Two recent cases were as a result of performing dumbbell side-bending exercises to reduce ‘love handles’. Whilst resistance exercise can increase strength, using weights can lead to muscle, ligament and disc injuries in and around the spine if not done properly.  Many people start by using too much weight, or moving too fast and not concentrating on correct posture whilst doing these sort of exercises.  Developing muscle underneath fat deposits may actually increase waist size if diet and aerobic exercise are not part of the weight loss regime.  Increasing the amount of weight used should be done very slowly so as not to risk injury.  Start by doing any new exercise without weights if you have never done it before and it is important to build up your core strength first – if you already have a weak back and core you are more susceptible to injury. Please see links below for tips on protecting your back whilst weight lifting.

http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sports-and-spine-injuries/bodybuilding-weightlifting-and-back-pain

http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/6-weightlifting-tips-to-avoid-back-pain