Health – Exercises to Prevent Back Problems
How to fix—or prevent—nagging spasms, discomfort, and achiness in your back.
Chronic low back pain, which affects millions of people each year, is often caused by a sedentary lifestyle and/or heavy use, which might sound a little like you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.
Depending on the cause and intensity of your pain, some exercises may not be recommended and can be harmful.
There are many treatment options available to low back pain sufferers, ranging from medications to surgery. But one of the most sustainable and effective solutions for eliminating chronic low back pain is the (totally free!) regular practice of back-strengthening exercise.
Here, 5 ways to send pain packing:
Pilates strengthens the core muscles that support the spine, decreasing your risk of injury. It also boosts flexibility, making it easier to move without pain.
Lie face up on floor, knees bent, ankles under knees. Exhaling, gently tilt hips up slightly, keeping butt on floor and flattening spine. Hold for a few seconds, then inhale and return to neutral (starting) position. Do 5 to 10 reps.
From a lunge position, press through your front heel and stand tall. Lift the back heel up off the ground and reach the arms out in front of your heart. Drive your butt as far back as you can, without moving your knee, until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Your arms will naturally reach further forward to counterbalance. Tighten your core, taking care to maintain a neutral spine, and slowly reach the arms overhead. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
3. Hip Raises
Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Squeezing your glutes, raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause for 5 seconds, and then lower to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 15.
4. Strength Training
It stabilizes and strengthens your entire body. Back pain can occur when muscles are not prepared for a certain movement, whether that’s lifting a heavy box or carrying a child.
Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Bend knees, shifting hips back as if sitting into a chair, and lift arms. Hold for 1 count; return to start. Do 10 to 15 reps.
Yoga combines stretching with strength and balance poses, which help shore up weak muscles and release tight ones. It’s also a stress reliever; tension can lead to a tight back.
Sit on heels, knees hip-distance apart. Exhale and lower torso between thighs. Reach arms forward. Hold for about 30 to 60 seconds.
For anyone who has dealt with back pain, you already know how quickly damage to your lower back can take hold and affect your life. I hope these tips will help you prevent or minimize any future flareups of back pain or development of any new problems.