Exercising regularly is the most effective way to help reduce lower back pain
It may seem counterintuitive but sometimes the best remedy for pain is getting active. When it comes to lower back pain, aerobic exercises and specific muscle strengthening and stretching exercises can often help.
Many people have a tendency to lie in bed when they’re experiencing lower back pain, but low-impact activities like swimming, walking, and bicycling can increase overall fitness without straining the lower back.
Building muscle strength and flexibility through core-strengthening exercises can also be really beneficial in easing lower back pain. You can also focus on improving flexibility of your upper legs and hips as this can improve alignment and help ease pain as well.
Here are a couple of core-strengthening exercises for your abdomen and your lower back
Note: It’s important to ask your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program. Please carefully follow the instructions below. If you feel any pain or discomfort during or after any of the exercises, discontinue the activity and consult a medical professional.
Exercises for strengthening your abdomen:
1.) Pelvic tilt:
Lie down on the floor with your arms at your side. Bend your knees, keeping your feet parallel to each other. Tighten your lower abdomen, tilting and lifting your pelvis off of the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly lower your pelvis back to the floor. Repeat 5-10 times.
2.) Trunk curl:
Lie down on the floor with your hands resting gently on your head behind your ears. Bend your knees and using your upper abdominal muscles, raise your trunk up off the floor slightly (around 15 degrees). Make sure that you are mainly lifting your chest while holding your head and neck in a neutral position. This will focus the exercise on your abdominal muscles. Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly lower back down to the floor. Repeat 10-20 times.
3.) Exercise ball sit-ups:
Sitting on an exercise ball with your back in a neutral position, place your hands loosely on your head near your ears and rest your feet flat on the floor. Lean backwards, pointing your toes towards the ground, and flexing your hips. Hold for 5 seconds, then sit up slowly, rolling your heels back on the ground. Repeat 5-10 times.
Exercises for strengthening your back:
1.) Arm and leg raises:
Lying on your stomach, stretch your arms over your head so that your body forms a straight line. Slowly, raise and then lower each of your limbs (each arm and leg), one at a time. Repeat 5 times for each limb. Next, work alternate limbs by lifting your left arm and right leg simultaneously. Repeat 5 times, and then repeat for your right arm and left leg.
2.) Arm and leg raises #2:
This exercise is similar to the one above but you’ll be on your hands and knees.
Arms: Slowly lift your left arm up in front of you, so that it’s at chest level. Keep your head in a neutral position so that you’re looking down. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower your arm back to the ground. Repeat 3-5 times for both arms.
Legs: Slowly lift, straighten and extend your leg behind you while avoiding arching your back. Hold for 5 seconds, then bend and lower your leg back down to the ground. Repeat 3-5 times for both legs.
3.) Cat curls:
Get on your hands and knees with your back and neck aligned in a neutral position. Curl your back so that it’s curved towards the ceiling while tightening your lower abdominal muscles. Hold for 5 seconds before releasing into a neutral resting position. Next, gently arch your back and hold for 5 seconds. Release to a neutral position.
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