An estimated 80 percent of adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their life.1 The pain can be acute and sharp or chronic and dull, with a wide range of causes, including herniated discs, sprains or lifestyle factors, such as sedentariness. Back pain is different for everyone, but it often limits mobility and can even affect your mood and quality of life.
The good news is many people’s lower back pain can be managed or reduced and mobility can be increased with some easy, at-home strengthening exercises.
Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain
Bridges, or bridging, is a strength exercise that stretches the muscles in the lower back and buttocks. Start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-length apart. With your palms flat on the ground, slowly push your pelvis up until your back, shoulders and knees are in a straight line, then slowly lower your pelvis back down and rest. Your shoulders should remain flat on the ground and your back shouldn’t arch as you raise your pelvis. Repeat this about 12 to 15 times.
Lower Back Twists
Lower back twists provide deep stretches to your back and glute muscles, which often are tight if you’re experiencing lower back pain. Start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and your arms outstretched, making a “T” shape. While keeping your shoulders flat on the ground and arms outstretched, gently shift your knees to either side. Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds, then shift back to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.
Cat-Cow is a two-part yoga movement that stretches the lower and mid-back. You’ll begin on all fours with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees hip-distance apart.
First, take a deep breathe in and slowly move into the cat pose by leading with your tailbone and gently rounding your back. Hold the pose for several seconds. Then, breathe out and push your chest outward while sinking your belly toward the ground. Again, hold it for a few seconds, then repeat. Try repeating the movement for about 30 seconds.
You will need a towel or similar strong piece of fabric for hamstring stretches. Begin by lying flat on your back, bending one knee with your foot flat on the ground. Loop the towel around the ball of your foot. Slowly raise your leg and begin straightening the knee by gently pulling back on the towel. You should feel a deep stretch in your hamstring, which will loosen up your lower back as well. Hold the pose for about 15 to 30 seconds and then switch legs.
Extended time sitting at the office or in the car causes the hips, buttocks and lower back muscles to tighten, which is often the source of acute lower back pain. Sometimes the best way to combat tight and painful back muscles is to shake them loose, so to speak.
Aerobic exercises, like walking, jogging and swimming stretch and activate the back and hip muscles while also exercising your heart and lungs. Swimming can be particularly effective because the water helps remove tension from your back as your get your work out.
Professional Spine Care in Fort Worth, TX
Keeping your spine healthy is paramount to maintaining a high quality of life. While it’s always a great idea to do some exercises on your own, nothing quite compares to professional medical care. The professionals at Spine Works Institute proudly provide a variety of non-surgical treatments, including physical therapy, chiropractic care, exercise and more. To start feeling some relief of your own, call Spine Works Institute at 813-646-0700 and schedule an appointment today!