Exercises for Lower Back Pain
If you suffer from lower back pain, you know that it’s never a fun time when it decides to flare up or maybe you’re even in constant pain. Many sufferers seek help from chiropractors, physiotherapists, acupuncturists, or massage therapists. Chiropractors are the leading care providers when it comes to car accident and work place accident victims. They usually take a holistic approach, finding the root cause of the problem instead of just finding a way to alleviate the symptoms. Physiotherapists also provide much needed help to lower back pain sufferers by helping to strengthen and rejuvenate the muscles. Acupuncturists can be a good change of pace when chiropractic and physiotherapy don’t work. Massage therapy relaxes the entire body and lets the body’s natural healing processes take over. However, in most cases for optimal results, you need to do some home exercise to keep your back loose and slowly stretch the muscles.
Here are 5 exercises to do to improve lower back pain:
1. Partial crunches: Partial crunches can help strengthen the lower back and stomach muscles. Lie with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest and place your hands behind your neck. Tighten your stomach muscles while raising your shoulders off the floor. Breathe out as your shoulders raise but do not use your arms to pull your neck off the floor. Hold the position for a second and then slowly lower. Repeat this motion 8-12 times.
2. Hamstring stretches: Lie on your back and bend one knee. Put a towel under the ball of your foot, straighten your knee, and slowly pull back on the towel. You should feel a gentle stretch down the back of your leg. Hold the position for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 times per leg.
3. Wall sits: Stand approximately 10-12 inches away from the wall and lean back until your back is flat against the wall. Slide slowly toward the ground until your knees are slightly bent, pressing your lower back into the wall. Hold the position for 10 seconds and then slide gently back up the wall. Perform 8-12 reps.
4. Back extensions: Lie on your stomach with your hands directly under your shoulders. Push up with your hands so that your shoulders begin to rise off the floor. If it’s too uncomfortable use your elbows instead of hands.
5. Knee to chest: Begin with your back flat against the ground and feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee to your chest while keeping the other one flat on the floor and your lower back pressed against the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat this 2-4 times each leg.
Here are 3 exercises to avoid:
1. Leg lifts: Some trainers may suggest doing leg lifts to strengthen your abs. Exercising to restore strength is important but lifting both legs in the air is very demanding on your core. If your core is too weak for the exercise, it may actually put more stress on your back and worsen the pain.
2. Sit-ups: Sit-ups have the tendency to put a lot of pressure on the discs of the spine.
3. Toe touches: Standing toe touches put too much stress on the discs and ligaments of the spine. This exercise can also overstretch low back muscles and hamstrings.
A healthy combination of the right home exercises and professional pain management help will get you well on the road to living your life pain-free. See your local BC Back Clinic chiropractor, physiotherapist, acupuncturist, or massage therapist today to find out how they might be able to help you!