Our top 5 recommended exercises for lower back relief you can do anywhere.
What can I do to help myself relieve back pain is a common question people ask. It is important to understand that a strong and functional core is essential to lower back function and stability. What is often poorly understood is that often, the core can be affected by upper body function, lower body function and imbalances in the core muscles themselves which can either be an adaptation to our own body mechanics or from improper gym workouts that can leave us in pain.
Our top 5 exercises you can do to relieve back pain.
Bridging – a yoga bridge is very effective at improving tone in the gluteal and erector spinae musculature, while opening up the joints in the pelvis, lower and upper back region. While it is not a substitute for a good chiropractor, it can relieve back pain or stiffness. The most common bridge we recommend is the standard bridge you see pictured here. Lay on your back, place your feet flat on the floor, bed or table with your hands at your side and lift your pelvis upward. Be sure to fully engage and tighten the gluteal muscles as well as the erector spinae muscles for maximal effect.
Elbow Plank – Imagine doing a pushup, but instead of pushing up with your hands, you are leaning on your elbows which are placed toward your head. As in a pushup, your buttock should be lifted in the air about 15 degrees . Hold the position initially for 30 seconds and then build until you can hold the position with minimal shaking for 1t least a minute.
Side planks will work the sides of the core and are all about stability. Lay on your side and lift yourself up with the elbow and forearm laying flat on the ground. Keep your body straits for at least 30 seconds. These are quite diagnostic for core dysfunction, since someone with a dysfunctional core will have difficulty holding themselves in this position.
Doing planks 3x per week will help stabilize a weak core and improve your ability to do many activities that may cause back pain otherwise. You can also view additional planks here.
Pelvic tilts –
Uncoordinated movement in the pelvis and the surrounding muscles can cause chronic back pain and tightness. Rather than concentrate on having this exercise the muscles in the core, we believe it is more appropriate and effective to improve how we walk neurologically and through muscular memory. Mastering these exercises will improve the way you walk and how your lower back functions, reducing the likelihood of finding yourself in pain.
Superman exercises are another popular exercise to strengthen up the lower back muscles. They are easy to do as well. Lay on your stomach, extend the arms and legs into the air as if you are flying and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat up to 20 or 30 times. Done regularly, they will improve the tone of the lower back and upper shoulder muscles.
Hip extensions and lateral leg raises are terrific for strengthening the gluteus medius, gluteus maximus and the lateral and posterior leg muscles. They also engage the lower back muscles as well. We regularly recommend these exercises for all our patients who have back problems, and when done regularly, it improves muscle tone and strength in the lower back and hip region.
If you do these exercises regularly, they will strengthen the main core muscles and help prevent lower back pain. While back pain has many causes, these should help. If your back pain persists, see your local chiropractor first. These exercises are recommended for the general health of your back and are just a guideline, and should in no way be considered recommended treatment for a long standing back problem.