Top 10 Exercises to Ease Back Pain
Flexibility is the key to a healthy body and mind. Ensuring your core muscles are strong can reduce lower back pain. Stretching is a part of the healthy recipe to alleviating back pain. By taking the time to stretch, blood flow will increase to the area, which will assist in relieving pain and support healing.
Flexibility is the key to a healthy body and mind. Ensuring your core muscles are strong can reduce lower back pain. Stretching is a part of the healthy recipe to alleviating back pain. By taking the time to stretch, blood flow will increase to the area, which will assist in relieving pain and support healing. A stretching program should be planned and maintained in order to get the best results. Try implementing ten or fifteen minutes of stretching before you go to bed each night. Turn on the television or play some soothing music and create a comfortable space on the floor to stretch. Once you get into the rhythm with stretching exercises, your body will begin to crave more. Please make sure you ask your doctor before you begin any type of exercise program.
If you commute to work or sit down much of your day, it is important to keep the flexibility in your back in order to prevent pain. When your abdominal area is inactive, your core is weak. If you are standing for long periods during the day, it’s important to keep your glutes and hamstrings flexible. Tight glutes and hamstrings will inevitably pull on your lower back and cause pain. Core strengthening exercises can actually prevent future back pain.
Do Each Stretch for 10 Repetitions
- Child’s Stretch Pose. Get down on all fours and relax your body. Start to ease backward, bringing your hips toward your heels and stretch your hands out in front of you on the floor. Slowly crawl your fingers forward on the floor. If you can’t touch your buttocks to your heels, it is okay, just make sure you make it a goal over time as you continue to perform this stretch. Breathe in slowly for a count of ten and release your breath for a count of ten. Do this exercise as your first warm up.
- Cat-Cow Stretch. Get on your hands and knees. Push your stomach to the ground and hold for 5 seconds. Then, arch your back towards the ceiling and hold for 5 seconds. Remember to breathe, inhaling and exhaling with each movement.
- Hip Flex Stretch. Position yourself, bent on your knees. Slide one foot onto the floor, raising your knee, with one foot in front of the other (your other knee will remain positioned down on the floor) lining your knee under your elbow, making sure that your hips are squared off evenly. Raise both arms up over your head, as if you are reaching for the sky with your fingers stretched toward the ceiling while slightly pushing your hips forward, putting weight on your front leg.
- The Cobra Stretch. Lay down with your stomach facing the floor. Place your hands on either side of your breastbone, elbows in the air and palms stretched on the floor. Push yourself up, off the floor, lifting the chin up, stretching the lower spine as your exhale and hold for 5 seconds. Breathe in as you slowly settle back to the floor and then repeat.
- Piriformis Stretch. If you have tight hamstrings or glutes, this is a great stretch for you. All of those muscles are connected to your lower back, so it helps to focus on this area when you stretch. Sit on the ground with your feet in front of you, knees up. Slowly lay back on the ground, keeping your knees bent. Bring one leg up and across over the opposite leg. Place your hands on your opposite hamstring and slowly pull. Switch sides.
- Hamstring Stretch. Stand up with one leg straight, one leg bent behind you, with your heel dug into the floor and your toes relaxed. You want to keep your chest out and your back straight (don’t slump) as you slowly lower yourself down by leaning forward, giving a nice stretch to your hamstring. Repeat with opposite legs.
- Release Pressure. Place your hands straight out in front of you on a table or bed. (Note: The higher the table, the less pressure on the back.) Shift your weight from one leg to the other, slightly bending your knee to give the back a good stretch. Don’t forget to breathe.
- Using the Rubber Ball. If you have an exercise ball, sit down on it slowly and make sure you roll out allowing your buttocks to come off of the ball. Hold this position and breathe by inhaling and exhaling to ten. Remember to use your legs for balance.
- Torso Twist. Lay down and pull your knees to your chest. Roll over to your right side, keeping your knees bent. We will call this position, “Neutral.” Take your outside arm and stretch to the opposite side, laying your palm up toward the ceiling. You will slightly move your hips toward the ceiling and hold. Never come out of this position quickly – you could do some damage. Always go back to neutral before getting up off the floor. Repeat 10 times on both sides.
- Stretch for the Stars. Get on all fours. Take your right arm and reach back towards the ceiling, watching your hand with your eyes. Don’t force the stretch, just make sure you are stretching your upper back with this releasing gesture. Push through with your bottom arm and make sure you are elongated. Make sure you look at your hand – don’t face the floor during this exercise.