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TOPIC: low back pain from using elliptical

 
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March 25, 2010 5:05 PM
Has anyone else developed lower back pain from using an elliptical trainer? It does not hurt when I am exercising, but throughout the day it can be flare up. Taking over the counter meds have not helped (and I have hurt my lower back enough times catering to expect an improvement after 3-4 days medicating). I have had this pain for a little over 2 weeks now. Figuring I need to go to the chiropractor, but hate spending the money.
March 25, 2010 5:30 PM
i've never had lower back pain from the elliptical. I have had my fair share of lower pack pain though!! Heating pads, pain meds and rest have helped me get through it! :) As of recently, the back of my knee was hurting when I'd do the elliptical, I took a week off, and it felt SO much better! maybe all you need is a little rest! :)
  712234
March 25, 2010 5:35 PM
I recently had back surgery and I find when I strain myself too much on the eliptical I have too stay off for a few days. A brisk walk and some stretching is usually all I need. If you have access to a pool even better it relieves the stress off your lower back as well as your knees! Good Luck and just keep moving!!!
  519731
March 25, 2010 5:47 PM
Stretching is a must! Exercising with tight muscles can make you hurt all over. I think it's a good idea to take a break when you're hurting as well, it'll only make it worse if you keep pushing yourself too much. I've personally gotten the best results from the elliptical because I can't do much else... the bike hurts my knees, as does the treadmill. I am all too familiar with back pain though, I broke my back when I was 16 (8 years ago) and I have a walking disability now due to that, hence the problems with knee pain. I think a hot bath and heating pad or stretching has been the best pain relief for me.
  837662
March 25, 2010 5:48 PM
Do you take the time to stretch before and after? If I am diligent about that, it keeps things free and moving. I know it's hard to make the time but the pay off is worth it.
  590021
March 25, 2010 6:10 PM
I read an article in Self or Fitness magazine (can't remember which) that said the best posture for the elliptical was shoulders back and arms at your side (swing them as if you were running/walking), second best was using the moving handlebars and the least recommended option (avoid if possible) was hanging on to stationary handle bars. I really like the way the elliptical works my back and how it feels after and using the elliptical helps keep my back problems at bay! I hope with a little tweaking of your stretching routine, warm-up and posture on the machine you might be able to get the same benefit. :)
  302269
March 26, 2010 8:17 AM
I'd love to know what you find out if you go to a chiropractor. I hurt my lower back in a fall (while running) awhile back and nothing has made it better. I stretch, take pain meds (although try to limit them), use heat, walk, etc, etc, and it just isn't getting better. It hurts to run so I haven't been doing that...can do the stair stepper and elliptical without added pain BUT my lower back just always hurts. Maybe it's age???sad I think I am going to see my doctor and ask her what to do...maybe all I need is a chiropractic adjustment?? (Have never had one!!)
March 26, 2010 8:40 AM
I have one ruptured disk in my lower back and two bulging disks in my upper back and neck due to a couple nasty car wrecks. My Physical Therapist absolutely insists that I maintain good posture all the time to help keep things aligned and that includes when I'm excercising. It looked and felt a bit silly to me at first to be always arching out my butt and bust to maintain perfect posture, but if it keeps me out of therapy and out of pain I'm all for it!

Stretching I also agree is a must, it keeps the worst of the lactic acid soreness at bay for me.
March 26, 2010 10:38 AM
Thanks for all your insight! I have not been very good about warming up, but typically start slow; but will need to rethink that. I may have to be more attentive to my posture, but thought I was standing straight; and I use the moving handles already so that I get more movement. The elliptical is really all I can do also, as I have foot problems, which treading and running exacerbate. I do hate to take a break as I have been making such good progress and need to keep the habit. Will have to walk instead for a few weeks to see if it improves. I just need to keep moving or the habit I have developed will be lost too easily!
March 28, 2010 9:01 PM
Holton-I actually thought about this thread while I was working out today on the elliptical. I raised the incline a little more than usualy and I could tell the strain it put on my back. So it may be that your incline is too high?
  753348
January 1, 2012 9:47 AM
I just caused myself a bad lower back flare up (spasming all week, couldn't move the first night in bed at all, needed Robaxacet), and I just read that an elliptical can be bad for certain people that have a tendency to lower back issues, I didn't catch the details, something to do with disc issues. Apparently you are more likely to twist and bend forward than walking or other exercises...so when I am better, I'll be using my DVD's and running, and not using the elliptical for a long time, or at least pushing less hard than I was...definitely a bad idea!
  12769695
January 1, 2012 9:51 AM
ice it, don't use heat.
  13516638
January 1, 2012 9:53 AM
i had this problem when i first got my elliptical and found it was directly related to my posture. now i focus on standing up and when i use the handles i hold them at the very bottom to avoid leaning forward.
  2421151
January 1, 2012 9:56 AM
I HAVE TROUBLE WITH THIS MACHINE AS WELL. I ROTATE MY HIPS TOO MUCH INSTEAD OF LOCKING IN MY CORE. I NOTICED I WAS "WIGGLING" MY BUTT A LOT AND MY BACK WOULD HURT FOR A COUPLE DAYS AFTER. AFTER GOING OT PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR ARTHRITIS IN MY BACK AND A BULGING DISC WE FOUND I AM HYPER MOBILE IN MY HIPS AND LOWER BACK SO I CAN ACTUALLY DO DAMAGE ON THE ELLIPTICAL. I NOW WALK AND HIKE OUTSIDE OR USE A TREADMILL OR STATIONARY BAIKE. THIS HAS HELPED ME A LOT. THAT AND CORE EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN MY CORE AND HELP KEEP MY HIPS IN BALANCE AND NOT ROTATING :)
  7373969
January 1, 2012 9:57 AM
Posture and incline are key. Poor posture doing anything fitness related can eventually result in some type of pain. How much resistance do you have on the machine? Lower it if possible. Stay off the machine for a couple of weeks. Try something else. Get into aquatics...its awesome and too few people realize what a great cross training workout you can get in a well taught aquatics class. Its easier on the joints, but can really produce results. I am a Personal Trainer and Group fitness instructor for 25 years. I know!
January 1, 2012 9:57 AM
Stretching, posture, and do you do strength training? I would get back pain if I put the tension up to 3 or above. I started strength training and now I can go up to 7, and I'm getting stronger all the time. I would suggest slowly adding strength training into your program.
  6400304
January 1, 2012 10:00 AM
Watch your posture on the ellipitcal. Straighten up, get off the balls of your feet. Try more of a rolling step. Concentrate on keeping your back in line (lower to upper). I had the same problems and became aware of how I was standing and moving on the elliptical. Once I started paying attention my lower back problems (on the elliptical) stopped.


Good luck!


Z
  716078
January 1, 2012 10:01 AM
I am having lower back pain today after 4 days with no access to my elliptical machine since my senior center is closed for the holiday. 2 days straight at home without exercise class and equipment have done me in!
January 1, 2012 10:05 AM
QUOTE:

I am having lower back pain today after 4 days with no access to my elliptical machine since my senior center is closed for the holiday. 2 days straight at home without exercise class and equipment have done me in!


I hurt more now when i don't excercise. when I started I hurt more at the beginning. Don't worry, you'll get is all back. You can do it!
  6400304
January 1, 2012 10:57 AM
You might try using an arc trainer instead of an elliptical if your gym has them. I've read they tend to be easier to maintain correct posture, and they offer a more intense workout. I haven't used an elliptical in years ;) As others mentioned you could also look into doing strength training for your back. Lower and mid back muscles are often overlooked which can lead to pain when your abs are the ones doing all the work to support your core.
January 3, 2012 5:40 AM
I have had lower back pain for some time now. I finally went to a chiropractor a few months ago and it was amazing. I've moved and done things I had not been able to do for some time now. Have been walking a lot and taking Zumba classes at my gym with no problem. But last night I went to the gym at an odd time so I just jumped on the elliptical for an hour. This morning I was loading the dishwasher and snap! all the lower back pain is back. I watched my posture while exercising. Didn't hold on to the rails very much. The elliptical has to be part of the problem. I'm sitting on an ice pack now. (always use ice instead of heat). Good thing I have an appt at the chiropractor this Saturday!
February 19, 2014 1:25 PM
I started using my elliptical 6 days a week on Dec 10th 2013. On Jan 19th I started experiencing pain in my lower back near the left kidney, but away from the spine. Usually I can take Advil and work through muscle strain pains in a week or two. This pain did not respond to Advil or Alieve. It strikes when I am asleep and my body has totally relaxed, at which time I am awaken by a very bad pain and unable to sleep laying down. I consulted a urologist and went through several xray, IVP and ultrasound test checking for a kidney stone or issue, and was told the kidneys were fine. I have a suspicion that my pain is caused by the elliptical and have stopped using it as of yesterday. I suspect the elliptical because a couple of years ago when I first purchased the unit, I worked out about an hour a day for 5 day weeks and developed restless leg syndrome which went away when I discontinued using the machine. If I get no relief, I will see a chiropractor in a couple of weeks. I expect it may aggravate a nerve in my back. Too bad because I really like the elliptical workout.ohwell

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