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10 Exercises To Help Cure Lower Back Pain

 

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If you suffer from chronic lower back pain, you are not alone. According to the Institute of Medicine, over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic lower back pain which amounts to over 600 billion dollars in medical costs and lost productivity.It is estimated that almost 80% of people experience back pain at some point in their life.

If your problems are severe, then it would be best to seek medical treatment. However, there are some things that you can do to prevent or alleviate some of the pain associated with lower back pain.

Before I go into detail about the exercises and stretches you can do to help your lower back pain, I want to discuss the causes.

The lower back pain I will be referring to in this article is one caused by a muscle strain from picking up a heavy object or twisting too far, or back pain caused by sitting in a chair all day, such as in a 40 hour a week job in a cubicle. If you have a herniated disc or sciata, then this article is not for you.

Causes of chronic lower back pain

  • Sitting in a chair for long periods of time
  • Slouching
  • Carrying a heavy bag
  • Lifting, pulling, or twisting of the spine
  • Overworking your back muscles (performing a long workout after being sedentary for 10 years).  It is important to gradually increase intensity when working out
  • Poor Lifting Form
  • Poor posture (i.e. slumped shoulders with back hunched over)

This article is geared towards exercises you can do on your own, so listed below are the top 10 exercises you can do in your own home that can help with your lower back pain.

1. Front/Side Plank

Planks are great for core strengthening, and one of the main culprits for lower back pain is a weak core. Make sure when doing this exercise that your back is flat without any dip in the lower back for this can cause more lower back pain.

 

 

front plank

side plank

2. Opposite arm/opposite leg holds

For this exercise, you will hold your arm out straight with the opposite leg back (so right arm with left leg and left arm with right leg). Make sure to engage your core and hold for as long as you can. If you can only hold for 3 seconds, that is okay. Try to challenge yourself to hold for longer and longer as you get stronger.

opposite arm opposite leg

3. Crunch and holds

Make sure you are doing crunches and not sit-ups, for sit-ups may hurt the lower back. When you perform the crunch, make sure you are really engaging the core and when you are in the flexed position, hold for about 3-5 seconds before returning to the starting position.

crunch and hold

4. Pelvic Tilt

For this exercise, you will lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. You will then contract your abs as if you were preparing for someone to punch you. You will notice your back pressing into the mat as you flex. Hold for as long as you can while continuing to breathe. Always remember to challenge yourself.

pelvic tilt

5. Seated Hamstring Stretch

In a seated position with your legs spread reach down in front of you. Make sure to arch your back to really get a good stretch in your lower back as well. Hold this stretch for about 1-2 minutes.

hamstring stretch

6. Hip Flexor Stretch

Often times the main culprit of lower back pain are the hip flexors, located at the top of the thigh.
When doing hip flexor stretches, make sure to tilt your pelvis forward to really feel the stretch. Hold each side for 1-2 minutes. This stretch often provides immediate relief.

hip flexor stretch

7. Cobra Stretch

This is a great stretch for the lower back. If this is too intense, perform the stretch on your elbows instead and make sure to not flex your glutes as this will strain the lower back even further. Simply relax and ease your way into the stretch. Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds.

cobra stretch

8. Lying Back Twist

Lay down flat on your back and lift one leg up and over to the side to create a twisting motion. This may cause some cracking of the back, which, in my opinion, feels quite amazing. Hold each side for about a minute.

lying back twist

9. Lying Glute Stretch

I am not even going to try and explain this one in words, which is why we have pictures. Tight glutes often play a role in lower back pain, so stretching the glutes is a great way to prevent or alleviate lower back pain.

Lying Glute Stretch

10. Child’s pose

For this stretch, you will enter a popular yoga pose called child’s pose. This is a great stretch for giving relief to your lower back after a hard workout as it is extremely relaxing and comfortable. Hold this stretch for as long as you would like.

childs-pose

Other options that may also be of help

– Aerobic exercise such as swimming, jogging, or walking
– Therapeutic Massage
– Physical Therapy
– Acupuncture
– Yoga
– Anti-inflammatory medication

Remember that the best medicine is preventative. Exercise regularly, stay at a healthy weight, stay flexible, and make sure to work on developing a strong core.

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About Danny Maman My name is Danny Maman. I have a real passion for health and fitness and enjoy having a life that revolves around this. I have my bachelor's degree in exercise science with a minor in allied health. I am also a certified personal trainer with ACE and am a former college basketball player.

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