Back Exercises For Lower Back Pain
Back medicine is first about finding the source of the back pain so that you may formulate a program on how to treat it. Finding the cause of a person's back pain may not actually affect what type of treatment program that you come up with in terms of back exercises. The cause of the lower back pain doesn't matter because the treatment program is often identical, in terms of rehabilitative medicine. There are a set of universal exercises for the lower back that strengthens the muscles that attach to the front, back, and sides of the spine. Let's take a look at the types of back exercises for lower back pain that may be taught to you by a physical therapist.
Lumbar Spine Stabilization Exercises:
If the begin to experience back pain, you may first want to get yourself checked out to make sure that you do not have a serious medical condition or other red flag symptoms that may indicate a serious spinal instability. Once your condition is diagnosed and determined appropriate for treatment with conservative therapies, your spine doctor, orthopedic surgeon, or physiatrist may want to recommend an exercise program to strengthen the core and back muscles around your lumbar spine. Besides building muscle to stabilize your spine, back exercises help you in so many other ways. Let's take a look at 4 stabilizes that are often taught to you in a rehab clinic so that you may continue to do them at your home.
Hamstring Stretch: Tightness in the hamstrings places strain on the lower back as it pulls on the back of the pelvic bone. Luckily, the only thing you will need to stretch the hamstrings muscles are the floor and a little bit of your time.
Lay down on the ground with your head to the ground and both of your legs flat to the surface. Next, clasp the back of the thigh just below the knee with both hands with one leg. The raised leg should be slightly bent. Raise this leg as far as you can towards the ceiling until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold this stretch for 10-30 seconds. Do 3 repetitions for each leg, alternating sides after each repetition.
Another way that you may hold your leg in this stretch is to use the corner of a wall in your house. You may get close to the corner, and put the raised leg up against the wall while your straight leg lies on the ground next to that corner. This may give you the ability to perform this stretch in a more relaxed position.
Arm/Leg Raises: The hip abductors attach from the femur to the sacrum, pelvis, and lumbar spine. These muscles are enable us to turn our leg outwards - away from our body. Tightness or weakness in these muscles may result in instability of the lumbar spine. Leg raises are exercises that are performed from the side position from the ground. A person will perform several repetitions of this movement by raising the leg away from the floor several times to challenge and strengthen these muscles.
Lie on your side with your back straight and your hips and knees slightly flexed. Slowly raise your leg 8-10 inches from its resting position. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, and then slowly lower it again. Do 5-10 repetitions on this side, and then flip your body position and repeat the same number of repetitions for the opposite leg.
Pelvic Tilt: Your lumbar spine (lower back) is concave anteriorly and convex posteriorly. This means that when you are on your back in a relaxed position, your lower back will curve away from the floor. When you perform this back exercise, you pull in your inner abdominal muscles while straightening your lumbar spine so that it touches and is parallel to the ground. This exercise will activate your inner abdominal muscles that attach to the spine.
Lay on the floor with your hands behind your head and your legs bent at an angle that allows the both soles of your feet to rest against the floor. At this point, your back will be arched as it normally is in the neutral position. Using only your lower and inner abdominal muscles, pull them in to flatten your entire lower back against the ground. Hold this position for 10 seconds as your back is against the ground. Perform 3-5 repetitions of this exercise.