Lower back pain affects four out of five people at some point in their life. Pain levels can range from mild to severe and the discomfort can make participation in normal activities difficult.
Lower back pain is frequently caused by mechanical stress. The term mechanical means that pain arises from the spinal joints, discs, vertebrae, or soft tissues. Back pain is often caused by placing abnormal stress and strain on the muscles of the vertebral column.
Factors that contribute to pain include:
- Certain postures such as sitting, slouching, and excessive arching
- Improper lifting motion
- Incorrect bending
- Repetitive movements
If back pain is caused by a specific injury, it is important to seek medical advice and treatment. Sometimes recurring or nagging lower back pain can be reduced or even prevented by doing exercises that reinforce proper movement.
Types Of Exercises
Various kinds of exercise are used to manage and prevent back pain. A balanced workout routine includes exercise that elevates the heart rate and stretches and strengthens activities. Types of exercise include:
- Aerobic exercise
Low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise elevates the heart rate, decreases stiffness, and improves blood flow.
- Core stabilization exercises
The core of the body is made up of the trunk and hip muscles that surround the spine. These muscles include abdominal muscles on the front and sides and erector muscles of the back. Stabilization of the core is essential for proper balance and transfer of load between the upper and lower body. A strong core also brings balance to the front and back of the body.
- Muscle strengthening exercises
Strengthening core muscles can improve posture and reduce the risk of injuries.
- Flexibility exercises
A muscle stretched beyond its range of motion can result in a strain or sprain. Flexibility increases muscle range of movement which reduces the risk of muscle and joint injury.
6 Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief
1. Foundation Training
Foundation training activates the posterior or back muscles, anchors the hips, and decompresses the spine. Foundation training is a series of exercises that help shift the burden of support from the joints back to the muscles.
2. Decompression Breathing
Decompression breathing is an exercise that lifts and expands the ribcage. It is designed to decompress the spine.
3. McGill Big 3
McGill Big 3 is a regime of specific exercises that address and work the core area around the spine.
The group of exercises includes:
- Curl ups
- Side Plank
- Bird Dog
4. McKenzie Exercises
McKenzie exercises are a series of progressive positions which help to extend the spine and provide pain relief. The group of exercises includes:
- Prone lying
- Prone lying while resting on elbows
- Prone push-ups
- Progressive extension
- Standing extension
5. Neural Flossing
A set of gentle exercises are used to mobilize and stretch irritated nerves, improving pain and range of motion.
6. Hip Extensor Training
Hip extension is a lower body exercise that strengthens the glutes and hamstrings. These muscles help to stabilize the pelvis and reduce strain on the lower back.
Benefits of Exercise
Strengthening the muscles which support the spine and pelvis has many benefits, including:
- Relieving pressure from spinal discs and joints
- Alleviating stiffness and improving mobility
- Improving blood flow
- Releasing natural pain relievers called endorphins
- Reducing pain frequency and severity
Exercise provides a way to improve movement and correct core imbalances. The result is a reduction in pain or even prevent its occurrence.
Nagging back pain doesn’t have to limit the activities you enjoy. Schedule an appointment today!