If you’ve ever suffered from lower back pain, then you count yourself among the roughly 30 million Americans that suffer from it daily. Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in America. It’s caused from sports to accidents to weight gain. It’s even caused by a sedentary lifestyle that many Americans lead due to greater screen time and office work.
There are many treatments for back pain – from chiropractic care to surgery. However, even though chiropractic care may help with realignment, it doesn’t address the underlying issue. Many times, the cause of back pain for most adults is weight gain, improper posture due to muscle weakness, and sitting too much. Such therapies as physical therapy, manual therapy, Pilates, and yoga can aid greatly in relieving back pain and even preventing it. Health care professionals will almost unanimously agree that the key to relieving back pain and preventing it is to strengthen the core. This is where physical therapy, yoga, and Pilates are effective treatments for back pain. In fact, physical therapy may even include yoga and Pilates exercises in the rehabilitation program to aid in the recovery and prevention.
Although strengthening is essential to recovering from back pain, stretching is just as important. In this effective stretch, start with laying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees in the air. Hug one leg in towards your chest, with your hands clasped below your knee on your shin. Pull in gently, holding and breathing deeply for 5-10 seconds. Release slowly and repeat with opposite leg.
Cat-Cow Back Exercise
While on all fours, ensure your core is tight and your back is flat. Gently lift your head and sink your back. Hold for three seconds and then release back to neutral. Then, drop your head and shoulders while lifting your lower back, rounding your spine. Hold for three seconds and return to neutral. Repeat three times, inhaling with each rounding of the spine and exhaling with each sinking of the spine.
Transverse Abdominal Exercise
Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Tighten your abdominal muscles, pulling your belly away from your waistband, trying to flatten your back entirely against the floor. Hold for 3-5 seconds, then release with an exhale. Repeat three sets of 10.
The bridge exercise was one of the most effective exercises in relieving back pain. While laying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent, contract your abdominals and glute muscles. Lift your hips off the floor, using both your core and gluteal muscles. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Release back down to the floor. Repeat three sets of 10.
Back Exercises And Physical Therapy
These back pain exercises are a great start for strengthening and stretching your back and core muscles. Maintaining an exercise routine is essential for getting and living pain-free. However, there’s more to back pain recovery than these exercises. A physical therapist will put together a program specifically for you that will focus on your weakest muscles and problem areas. Contact a physical therapist today if you want to get rid of your back pain.