Lower back pain is one of the most common maladies we treat. Unfortunately, alleviating pain isn’t a simple process. Since many sources of lower back pain are systemic and chronic, there are rarely quick and simple fixes to a patient’s problem. Try these three exercises to strengthen your lower back and protect it from further pain.
1. Bird Dog Exercise
A classic yoga pose, this exercise performed 10-12 times per leg for 5 seconds each can strengthen your core muscles and support your spinal column, reducing the amount of stress placed on your lower back. It can also help you learn proper form for other exercises, as it encourages your body to stabilize the lower back during movements of the arms and legs. Be sure to prevent your lower back from sagging during exercise, though.
2. Wall Sits
Press your back gently against a smooth-textured wall surface and gradually slide down until your knees are slightly bent. Do this 10-12 times, holding in the sitting position for 10 seconds each. Use a stool or exercise ball for support if you feel you might fall or can’t support your full weight while your knees are bent. This exercise keeps your back completely straight and helps strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, and abdominal muscles – all essential for good lower back support.
3. Partial Deadlifts
This exercise is great for strengthening your lower back muscles, but if you suffer from chronic lower back pain, you should begin this exercise using a minimal amount of weight (we’d recommend only the bar until you feel comfortable with the necessary form). Using a bar and lower back supports, place your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your toes straight. Squat and lift the bar from the floor, keeping your back arched and your feet stationary. Lift gradually until the bar is at arms length against your legs, then arch your back in a partial squat, lowering the bar beneath your knees and holding your knees at a 45-90-degree angle. Do this 10-12 times, holding for 10 seconds at a time. Note: this exercise can also be performed with dumb bells, but we’d recommend doing it in front of a mirror or with a partner to ensure proper form.
Possible Sources of Lower Back Pain
– Herniated, ruptured, or degenerating discs
– Traumatic injury
– Spinal Stenosis
– Skeletal abnormalities
– Muscular imbalances
Of course, be sure to speak with your doctor or physical therapist before attempting a long-term exercise rehabilitation regiment. Depending on the cause of your lower back pain, some exercises may do you more harm than good. Low impact and aerobic exercises typically lead to fewer complications and don’t tend to aggravate symptoms as much as weight-bearing exercises, so ramping up your routine from there can be a good place to start until you speak with your physician.
If you’re struggling with chronic lower back pain and are feeling limited in your day-to-day activities, contact Velo Sports Rehab to make an appointment with one of our experienced sports medicine professionals and get started on the path to pain-free movement today.
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