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Weak, sore mid-back

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  • Weak, sore mid-back

    Hello all fitness buffs!

    I am in the process of healing from severe RA and am slowly increasing my activity every day. One of the problems I am having is that part way through my work day, my mid back (below shoulder blades) gets so exhausted and sore that I have to lean on my lab bench to rest it. It is quite painful and it slows me down at work. I think it is tired just from the work of holding me upright.

    What would be the best way to strengthen this area of my body? I still have problems with my hands due to the arthritis and can't put weight on them or hold heavy items with my hands.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

  • #2
    Hopefully, a physical therapist will chime in here. I'm not a PT, but I've spent, in aggregate, a year working closely with two PTs specifically on my back, and in particular my mid back, so I know more than the average bear. Here are some of the things they've had me doing and what they've taught me. I know well the leaning thing that you speak of. As I've gotten stronger, it's gotten better.

    -- Planks:
    Note: Initially, you will want/need to do the modified version of this, which is to bend your knees -- don't have straight legs.

    -- Bridges:

    -- Range of motion exercises for back (a.k.a. "cat/cow" from yoga, if you're familiar...):

    -- I don't know if you have access to a gym somehow, but if you do, this is my very favorite exercise to do (feels so good on my back!):
    seated lat pulldown:
    I chose this video because it shows really well which muscles are working -- right at the area you are talking about.

    (Note that there are other ways to do a lat pulldown if you can't get to a gym; look up on YouTube.)

    -- **Very important!: The stronger your stomach is, the more it will support your back. I suspect your core is quite weak. You will want to look for various core exercises to you can do. I can't stress how important this is.

    Here is one:

    -- I LOVE using the stability ball (inexpensive to get one). There are a surprising number of exercises you can do with this thing. Especially good for core/back work:
    many more videos to explore

    -- Excellent video that helped me a lot, in the early stages. Very relaxing and gentle. (Fair warning: Might be geared a little too much toward rehab/alleviation of pain/post surgery for you, though; not sure)
    "Back In Shape"
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


    • #3
      yup, i agree, (yoga teacher)


      • #4
        Oh, how could I have forgotten these lovelies:

        "Bird Dog"

        "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


        • #5
          Don't forget the abs as well. Strengthening your ab muscles will take some of the pressure off the back when you stand. I would definitely check with a physical therapist to see what he/she recommends.
          Wag more, bark less


          • #6
            Thanks so much for these fantastic suggestions. I think you guys hit the nail on the core is essentially made of jello right now. It didn't occur to me that was causing my back problem, but I am sure you are right. TigerLily, I really appreciate the videos your provided - I think I can use all of them! I was making things too complicated and thinking I needed some complex weight lifting. Core is perfect and I am starting these right away.

            Once again, problem solved by the people on this forum . Thanks!!!
            Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )