According to the American Physical Therapy Association, two-thirds of people in the US are likely to have lower back pain. If you are experiencing lower back pain, it may be interfering with your daily activities. It is a common occurrence in adults, resulting in tingling, pain, and numbness in the lower body. Studies have shown that bed rest makes the pain worse in the long run. Exercise is the way to go for a fast recovery.
At New Medical Center, we recommend maintaining regular physical activity, which is the key to a fast recovery and helps prevent relapse.
The following factors might increase your risk of developing lower back pain:
- Muscle strain
- Old age
- Excessively sitting for long hours and poor posture
- Underlying medical conditions
Back pain is categorized into acute and chronic back pain. Acute back pain lasts for a few days or weeks, while chronic back pain lasts for more than 12 weeks. To relieve and prevent pain, exercises are recommended to strengthen the lower back, the core, legs, and arm muscles. Targeted exercise promotes blood flow to the lower back and minimizes stiffness. It is essential to seek professional help before doing any exercises for back pain.
Here are recommended exercises that reduce lower back pain and ensure breathing throughout the exercises.
1. Planks with Leg Lift
Planks are great for the entire body, lower back, and abdominal muscles. The leg movement increases intensity; however, you can still hold a regular plank if it is too much.
In a pushup position, bend your arms and support your body using your forearms; keep your legs behind, feet together, and toes curled under. Keep your legs, hips, and torso in a straight line while engaging or sucking your abdominal muscles into your spine and raise one leg off the floor. Pause for a few seconds, return your leg to the floor, and repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 2 to 3 times daily.
Lie on your back, with your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet firmly pressed on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and raise your hips towards the ceiling to form a bridge position by creating a straight line between your shoulders and knees. Do not arch your back to force your belly up. Remain in place for 3 seconds and return your pelvis to the floor. Do three sets with 10-15 repetitions.
3. Knee to Chest Stretches
This relieves tension and pain by elongating the lower back. Lie with your back on the floor and bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor. With both hands, pull one of the knees towards your chest and hold it for 15 to 30 seconds. Keep your abdominals tight and your spine pressed on the floor. Return your leg to the beginning position and repeat with the opposite leg. Do a set of four 2 to 3 times daily for each leg.
4. Wall Sits
Stand against the wall with your legs apart. Slowly slide until your knees are slightly bent while pressing your back against the wall. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground, and your hands kept firmly at the back against the wall. Hold for 10 seconds and carefully slide back up. Repeat 2 to 3 times.
5. Bird Dog
Start on all fours with your hands and knees on the floor while tightening your stomach muscles. Lift and extend one leg behind you while stretching your arm forward. Don’t sag the lower back. Hold for 5 seconds, return arm and leg into starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 8 to 12 times for each side.
6. Cat and Cow Stretch
This strengthens the lower back muscles. Place your hands and knees on the floor, shoulder, and hip-width apart. Keep your hands in line with your shoulders and knees stacked underneath your hips. Take a deep breath, arch your back and slowly pull your belly button to your spine. Pause and hold at the top of the movement for 2 to 5 seconds, then slowly let your back and stomach relax towards the floor. Lift your sit bones outwards, raise your neck and head upwards for a few minutes. Return to start position and repeat. Do it 3 to 5 times, twice a day.
7. Lower Back Twist
This relieves tension and tightness in the lower back. Lie on your back with your knees bent and keep your feet flat on the floor. Keep your torso pressed to the floor, bring one knee up towards your chest, and drop the knee down towards the opposite side of your body. Simultaneously turn your head in the opposite direction to the knee. Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 2 to 3 times, twice daily.
At New Medical Center, we are committed to offering customized lower back pain treatment and pain management options. Contact us today for more information.