Back pain is a chronic problem in our society, and back in 2008 I was just another victim. Countless hours spent slumped over a desk combined with a generally bad posture had produced a dull ache in my lower back that persistently disrupted my life.I had visited the doctor a few times and returned with no solution,so decided to look for an alternative remedy. After trying acupuncture, a procedure that I did find helpful for briefly relieving the pain, I searched online and found some strengthening exercises that would make my back strong and free from pain.
This post aims to share some simple procedures that can help you to overcome back discomfort and prevent persistent back pain through utilizing simple physical strengthening exercises that will help to make your back feel better right away. These are particularly useful after long periods of time spent cramped into flights or bus seats.
Please consult your physician before doing the exercises.
Causes of Back Pain
There are many possible causes of back pain, but the most common is bad posture, this leads to certain muscles that support the back atrophying and becoming weak. This can create a feedback loop; the pain in the back is seen as preventing good posture, and the bad posture is seen as the cause of the debilitating back pain.
When this lack of good posture is combined with a lack of regular exercise and high levels of stress, then back pain is a likely outcome. This is a direct consequence of the largely sedentary lifestyles of many people. In the United Kingdom estimates show that up to 4 out of 5 adults will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime.
To address a postural imbalance caused by weak muscles, we need to strengthen the relevant muscles so they will be better equipped to support the back during day to day life. This is particularly important if you are travelling long haul and likely to spend long periods of time sat down.
The exercises we will focus on are designed to strengthen the Quadratus Lumborum, the External Oblique and the Internal Oblique. These muscles form a bridge between the pelvis and the ribs that creates stability for the spinal column. Strength in these muscles is important to create a stable spine for daily like walking, sitting and running etc. When performing the exercises, it is important to engage your belly muscles, the Transverses abdominus muscles wraps all around your belly to connect with your lumbar spine. Be aware of this muscle whilst doing the exercises because when engaged it helps keeps the spine nice and stable.
When performing the exercises:
- Breathe deeply – this helps your muscles to stay relaxed
- Stop immediately if you feel pain
- Engage your abdominal muscles – this helps keep the spine stable
1.Lie on your back with your arms out horizontally and palms facing the ceiling to form a cross shape.
2.Lift your feet off the ground and bring your knees over your chest. Then rotate your feet from left to right, bringing your knees down to the ground on each side.
3.In order to make this exercise more difficult to strengthen the back further, partially straighten your legs to extend them further.
4.One repetition is a movement in both directions
1.Lie down flat on the floor with your arms and legs out to form a star shape
2.Simultaneously reach both your left arm up to meet with the right leg in the middle. Then take your arms and legs back to the floor and switch sides.
3.Be sure to raise up your head each time with the arms to prevent putting strain on your neck
1.Stay lying down flat on the floor for this exercise, bring your leg as high as possible up to the chest and reach up and grab it with your arms to pull it into body. This stretches out your hamstrings and lower back. Tightness in your lower back is linked to tightness in hamstrings.
Tilt down to the side and push the weight straight up on the other side. Keep Feet at comfortable distance apart, tilt down, and then push straight up. Keep head in middle, left and right is one rep.
Keep head inbetween arms, don’t let arms collapse, hold weight with both hands. Maintain core Strength.
Hold weight in one hand, tilt down to one side and then over to the other.
First get on your hands and knees.This is important because gravity presses down on your spine when sitting down, and this takes the pressure off. Create movement whilst synchronizing with the breath. Rock back and forth by inhaling and lifting the head and tail bone, and exhaling and rounding the back the other way.
Inhale up. Exhale down.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/tL_S3OD2Bn8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Conclusion of Routine
Remember to complete three sets of fifteen repetitions of each exercise. Hold your back fully erect during all standing exercises. Do this for four to six weeks in order to increase strength in the lower back and reduce discomfort.
Preventing Future Pain
- When lifting, bend down from your knees and hips, not your back.
- Maintain a good posture through the day; keep your shoulders back and don’t slouch. Try Imagining a string ascending from the top of your head that pulls you upright. Good posture gives you an increased ability to breathe deeper into the bottom of your lungs and improves your general health.
- Study martial arts, yoga and the Alexander Technique.
Disclaimer: The information given here is not a substitute for the prescription of a doctor, but is rather designed in order to help you make informed decisions regarding your own health.