Learn How to Prevent and Treat Back Pain with Exercise
Did you know 80% of adults suffer from back pain at some point during their lives? When pain in the lower back reaches a critical point, it can interfere with your ability to enjoy life and take part in sports, activities and exercise.
While routine exercise is a common casualty of back pain, it can also be a central part of the solution. The majority of mild and moderate pain can be effectively mitigated with lower back pain exercises. That’s great news for our active, Colorado mountain-lifestyle patients who prefer conservative care that promotes comprehensive wellbeing.
But why wait until symptoms set in? Implementing a proactive regimen of exercises for spine and lower back health can help you to prevent back pain from ever becoming an issue. Whether you’re interested in preventive exercises or remedial lower back pain physical therapy for your pre-existing issues, the active-lifestyle physicians at OrthoAspen can provide you with the direction and care you need. Learn more below!
Lower Back Pain Exercises
Got lower back pain? Or, would you like to proactively prevent back pain? Targeted exercises can help.
Below, we’ve listed four recommended exercises for preventing and treating lower back pain.
Preventive and Remedial Exercises
- Hamstring Stretches
Why would stretching the hamstrings help to relieve back pain? Tight hamstrings prevent erect posture while sitting, which can put stress on the spinal discs of the lower back. To prevent degenerative disc disease and alleviate pain, perform the following exercise one-to-two times daily: Lie on your back, bend one knee, and hold the corresponding leg from behind the knee. Then straighten the knee while pointing your toes in the direction of yourself; hold for 30 seconds.
- Knee-to-Chest Stretch
Knee-to-chest stretches are broadly recommended for relieving lower back strain and associated symptoms. To perform this stretch, lie on your back with bent knees and feet pressed flat against the floor. Grasp both hands under one knee, lift the corresponding leg, then bring the knee to your chest while keeping the opposite foot planted on the floor. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, making sure that your lower back is flat against the floor.
- Psoas Major Muscle Exercise
Tightness in the psoas major muscle is one of the most common causes of lower thoracic and lumbar spinal pain. This muscle is attached to the front of the lower spine and is a major factor in lower back mobility. To target the psoas major and relieve associated pain, kneel on one knee, then rotate your leg outward while tightening the corresponding glute; then, lean forward (without bending the spine) to stretch the muscle along the front of the hip. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat.
- Abdominal Exercises for Spinal Stability
Exercises to strengthen the abdominal muscles don’t only help firm up your core, they also can help to increases spinal stability. This is particularly true of exercises that build up the transversus abdominis muscles (TVA). To target the TVA in your abdominal exercise, lie on your back with bent knees and draw your belly button toward the spine; then lift the head and shoulders and reach upwards until the shoulder blades are just above the floor. Hold for one to two seconds, then repeat.
Are you suffering from lower back and hip pain? The above-listed exercises can effectively mitigate low-grade lower back symptoms. For more serious cases, the care of a specialized orthopedic physician and/or physical therapist is needed.
At OrthoAspen, our doctors work closely with licensed physical therapists at each stage of treatment. For patients suffering from persistent, lifestyle-compromising symptoms, OrthoAspen physicians can compose personalized exercise and therapy regimens to target and relieve back pain at its source. In more serious cases, other treatment options—ranging from anti-inflammatory medication to lumbar spinal surgery—may be prescribed.
Do you need the expertise of an orthopedist to help compile a lower back pain exercise plan? Do you have other questions about treatment options? To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact OrthoAspen today.