Perhaps you have been resting, hoping the back pain just needs time to heal. But most Health practitioners now encourage lower back pain sufferers to get active and move their backs and related muscles as a better pain relief treatment.
Movement can help relieve back pain, but only the right kind; avoid workouts that put too much stress and strain on the back. So which exercises should you choose? That partly depends on how intense your pain is, and what causes it.
Below are exercises that have been shown to have a positive impact on chronic back pain.
One of the classic core-strengthening workouts is the partial stomach crunch. Partial crunches build strength in both your lower back and related stomach muscles, making this an ideal exercise for people with spondylosis.
Here’s how to get the most out of partial crunches:
- Lie back and keep your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent.
- With your hands behind your head or with arms crossed around your chest, raise your shoulders from the floor. Make sure to keep your stomach muscles tight.
- Breath out while raising your shoulders. Avoid leading with your elbows (or yanking your neck off the floor with your arms).
- Hold for one second. Next, lower yourself back down to the floor in a controlled manner.
- Repeat with between eight and 12 repetitions. Remember to follow proper form, which prevents excessive spine stress. Keep your feet, tailbone, and lower back against the floor throughout the exercise.
Hamstring stretches relieve the back of the leg, where some of the muscles that support the work of the lower spine are found. This is a stretch that benefits from the use of a towel or fitness band.
To perform a hamstring stretch, follow these steps:
- First, lie on your back with one knee bent.
- Next, thread a towel beneath the ball of the foot on the unbent leg.
- Pull back on the towel slowly, straightening your knee. You ought to feel a gentle stretch along the back of your leg.
- Hold the stretch for at least 15-30 seconds.
- For each leg, repeat 5 times.
When it comes to low back pain, try some wall sits as a break from sitting on the couch. To do these wall sits properly and without injury, follow these steps:
- Stand with your back facing the wall at a distance of about 10 to 12 inches.
- Carefully lean into the wall until your spine is flat against it.
- Slide down the wall slowly until your knees are bent slightly. Continue to press your low back into the wall.
- Hold this position for a count of 10, then carefully slide back up the wall. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
Press-up Back Extensions
Another treatment for back pain symptoms is the press-up back extension. Here are the steps:
- Lie on your stomach. Position your hands directly underneath your shoulders.
- Push down on your hands. You should feel your shoulders begin to lift away from the floor.
- If you can do so comfortably, set your elbows on the floor directly beneath your shoulders. Then spend several seconds holding this position.
It’s a bird! It’s a dog! No, it’s a fitness routine to ease low back pain! The bird dog is a great way to learn to stabilise the low back during movements of the arms and legs. Here’s how it is done:
- To begin, get on your hands and knees.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles.
- With one leg, lift and extend it behind you while keeping your hips level.
- Hold that position for a full five seconds.
- Now switch to the other leg.
- For each leg, repeat eight to 12 times. For an added challenge, try lengthening the time you hold each lift.
- For each repetition, try lifting and extending your opposite arm in front of you.
- Don’t allow your lower back muscles to sag.
- Stay in position—don’t lift your arms or legs any higher than the low back position can maintain.
Glute Bridges (Bridging)
Bridging offers so much for the symptoms of back pain. This exercise helps strengthen various supporting players for your back like the hamstrings, glutes, transverse abdominis, abdomen and hips. It also works directly to strengthen the lower back. Follow these steps to assure a safe and rewarding bridge workout:
- Lie with your back to the floor, knees bent with only your heels touching the floor.
- Dig your heels into the floor. Squeeze down on your glutes. Lift your hips up until your shoulders, hips, and knees make a single, straight line.
- Hold this position for about six seconds.
- Slowly bring your hips back to the floor and give yourself about 10 seconds of rest.
- Repeat bridges eight to 12 times.
There are a couple of things to remember when bridging. First, try not to arch your lower back while your hips are moving upward. Next, avoid overarching. You can do that by keeping your abdomen tight both before and throughout the lift.
Aerobic workouts—sometimes called cardio—help strengthen the whole cardiovascular system, from the lungs and heart down to the blood vessels themselves. Aerobics can include biking, swimming, walking, or many other exercises that elevate your heart rate and get you moving. To start, try a short session. Then over time, lengthen the session as your stamina improves.
Since back pain sometimes requires special care, try swimming as a treatment for your symptoms. In swimming, the water supports your body weight, giving your back a break. Be careful to avoid any strokes that require your body to twist.