Strengthen Your Back, Strengthen Your Healing
At any given moment, including the moment during which you are reading this article, approximately 31 million people are suffering from lower back pain. In fact, it’s the most common reason patients come into our clinics and the second most common reason for a general physician’s visit. While causes of lower back pain may vary from person to person, it is often a result of a sedentary lifestyle coupled with a spurt of activity and improper use of the back.
Why is the Low Back So Prone to Pain?
The human’s back is the most complex configuration of bones, joints, ligaments, nerves, and muscles in the body and happens to be the largest part of your body. As most of the weight of the body relies on the support of the lower back muscles and vertebrae, this is often the most common area of general wear and tear.
With most modern jobs require sitting at a desk for extended periods of time, there are fewer opportunities from day to day to keep up with a lifestyle that includes activities that support a healthy back and body. As a result of this sedentary lifestyle, there are also increased chances of individuals suffering from obesity and disc regeneration that contribute to the degradation of your lower back musculoskeletal system.
If you are experiencing lower back pain for a period of time more than 4 weeks, you could be suffering from acute or chronic back pain. While both of these issues may be relieved through the conservative care or chiropractic treatment, a well-advised exercise routine* may improve the effectiveness of treatments administered by your chiropractor. The combination of cardiovascular, aerobic, and strengthening exercises may lead to improved outcomes and relief for longer periods of time.
*Please consult your doctor to see if these strengthening exercises can help you.
When moving from a point of pain it’s important, to begin with low impact exercises that have very little danger of straining your back muscles. Hip lifts are a great way to strengthen your pelvic, gluteus, and stomach muscles, providing a strong trunk to support the weight of your body.
Lying on your back, bring your knees pointing up with your feet close to your hips. With your arms down at your side, begin to rotate your pelvis and tailbone downward, gently tightening the muscles in your lower back. Then, rotate your pelvis in the opposite direction and begin using your legs to lift your tailbone and lower back off the floor. With your hips, lower back, and midsection off of the ground, make sure your core muscles are tight and you are using your legs, shoulders, and arms to support you. Hold in this position for a few seconds, release, and repeat.
Half-Lifted Standing Fold
Once your deep core trunk muscles are strengthened, you can begin to explore other movements that strengthen and stretch your lower back. The half-lifted standing fold is a great way to strengthen your lower back while stretching your hamstrings.
Standing tall with your knees slightly bent to protect your knees, bend forward so that your body and your legs make a 90-degree angle. Rest your hands on your thighs or knees to support the weight of your body and protect you from straining your back muscles. Keep your head lifted and your back muscles tightened. Then fold all the way over to release.
This exercise helps to strengthen your lower back and gluteus muscles to provide added support to your back and body. Starting on your hands and knees, with your back straight, lift your left leg straight out. You have a choice to hold out for 10 seconds or to lower and repeat. Make sure you spend the same amount of time doing the same movements with your right leg.
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