Why does rowing help relieve back pain in the discs?

Rowing, whether on the water or using a machine, is considered an excellent low-impact exercise to build strength and cardiovascular endurance. It also places an enormous amount of strain on the back muscles along with the discs in the spine and can lead to back pain in the discs when the rowing motion is performed using an improper technique. Read on to learn about the proper techniques for rowing as well as alternative treatments if your pain persists.

Rowing techniques for back pain in the discs

The most important factor in avoiding back pain in the discs is to learn and use proper rowing form. If you are a recreational or competitive rower, work with a coach or instructor who can help you develop a mechanically sound technique to get the most out of your natural ability. If you use a rowing machine as part of your regular workout, work with an athletic trainer to learn proper rowing form to get the most out of your workout and avoid injury.

Because the lower back is such an important physical component of the rowing motion, the lumbar region is particularly vulnerable to developing back pain in the discs. Here are a few tips to help you avoid a herniated or bulging disc because of rowing:

  • Keep your head and back straight
  • Tuck your chin as you push with your legs
  • Pull the oars evenly
  • Cross train aerobically
  • Strengthen the abdominal and oblique muscles

Alternative treatments for back pain in the discs

People with undiagnosed lower back pain should avoid rowing until a doctor gives clearance. While back pain in the discs usually can be managed through a medically directed course of conservative treatment, sometimes rest, pain medication or other nonsurgical methods of treatment are not enough. If this is the case, your doctor may suggest seeing if you are a candidate for surgery, such as the minimally invasive procedures offered at Laser Spine Institute.

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients to date find relief from chronic neck and back pain. Our team of dedicated surgeons uses less than 1-inch incisions and muscle-sparing techniques in order to relieve your chronic pain without the lengthy recovery^ associated with traditional open back surgery.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today and request a no-cost MRI review* to learn if one of our outpatient procedures can help you find relief from the back pain in your discs.