Exercise can help reduce the intensity of back pain. Even so, you must do it right. You see, the entire process involves stretching of muscles, and any mistake could prove damaging. That said, how can you embark on a regular exercise regimen with lower back pain?
First of all, you have to talk to a physician or chiropractor before deciding whether exercise is for you. We take a closer look at the do’s and don’ts of training with lower back pain.
Partial Crunches – These can help perk up your stomach and back muscles. To do them correctly;
- Start by lying down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor
- Cross your arms over the chest. You may also place your hands behind your neck
- Raise your shoulders off the floor so as to tighten your stomach muscles. Avoid using your elbow or arms to lift your neck off the floor
- Stay in that position for a few seconds before lowering your back to the floor. Repeat the process eight to twelve times
When done on a regular basis, partial crunches help reduce the amount of stress subjected to the lower back. Note – for the best results, keep your tailbone, lower back and feet in contact with the mat all the time.
Hamstring Stretches – These will strengthen your feet muscle and help prop up your spine. To perform the stretches correctly;
- Start by laying your back and bend one knee
- Loop a towel under your foot’s ball
- Straighten your keen and pull it back gently using the towel
For the best results, be sure to stay in this position for at least fifteen seconds. Repeat the procedure two to four times for each leg.
Wall Sits – Just like the hamstring stretches, wall sits are meant to help reduce the pressure on your spine. To perform them correctly;
- Start by standing ten to twelve inches from the wall
- Lean back so that your back is flat against the wall
- Slide down slowly so that your knees are slightly bent while still pressing your lower back into the wall
For the best results, hold this position for about ten seconds before sliding back up the wall. Be sure to repeat this process eight to twelve times.
Press-up Back Extensions – These will strengthen your stomach muscles while reducing lower back pain. To perform them correctly;
- Start by lying on your stomach and hold your hands under the shoulders.
- Using your hands, push in a way that allows your shoulders to get off the floor
You may also put your elbows on the mat straight to your shoulder. For the best results, hold this position for a couple of seconds.
Bird Dog – These will help strengthen your legs and stomach muscles as well as spine ligaments. To perform them correctly;
- Get on your hands and knees so as to tighten your stomach muscles
- Lift and stretch one leg behind you. Hold this position for about five seconds
- Repeat the same procedure with the other up to twelve times and try to increase the time every time you make as switch
- Lift and extend your opposite arm with every switch
The bird dog is an excellent exercise to stabilize your lower back as you move the legs and arms. Do not allow your lower back muscle to sag during this exercise. Raise the hips to a height where you can maintain the lower back position for at least ten seconds.
Toe Touches – These may cause a discomfort in your spine area and aggravate the pain. When touching your toes, you’re in essence putting more stress on the disks as well as the ligaments in your spine. Toe touches can cause your back muscles, lower back and hamstrings to overstretch.
Sit Ups – While sit ups will help strengthen your abdominal and core muscles, they’re not good for lower back pain. As a matter of fact, they exert a significant amount of pressure on your disks and spine which can be detrimental.
Leg Lifts – Even though these are one of the best exercises to strengthen your core and abdominal muscles, you should avoid them if you have lower back pain. Lifting both legs is demanding and will expose your spine to a lot of pressure.
You may try to lie on your back with one leg straight while bending the other at the knee. Ensure that your lower back stays on the floor. Then, raise your leg about six inches and hold this position briefly. Lower your legs slowly and repeat the same procedure up to ten times before switching legs.
When exercising with back pain, you need to do it carefully. Most importantly, you ought to choose a routine that doesn’t hurt or expose your body to even more pain.