Lower back pain is a condition that is commonly experienced by people of all ages and around the world. Sometimes it can be a result of an injury, but it is more commonly due to the sedentary lifestyle that modern workers lead. Without physical activity, the muscles around the spine and the ones that support the body weakens. It can affect different muscle groups but it is mostly felt in the lower back. Thus, pain is experienced and the range of motion becomes limited.
This condition and its debilitating effects can be prevented when you initiate self-care at home with strengthening and stretching exercises along with spinal manipulation. Patients suffering from low back pain will find relief quicker and develop more stable spine muscles in the long run.
You can consult with your attending Chiropractor for a list of exercises that you can do at home to help improve the range of motion and reduce the pain you feel in your lower back. If the pain is due to an injury, it is necessary to slowly build up the affected muscles and protect the spine before moving on to more strengthening exercises. After the initial adjustment, build a foundation to support the spine and begin the strengthening and continuous alignment that it needs.
Belly Breathing Exercises
Purposeful and deep belly breathing is a key step towards developing a core to support the spine properly as you strengthen the muscles around it. As you take deep belly breaths, the diaphragm expands through the help of the abdominal muscles. With longer and deeper breathing, your abdominal muscles work harder and are better strengthened.
Simply lay flat on the back with one hand on the chest and one hand on the belly. As you breathe in, make sure that the chest does not rise fully. Make an effort to breathe into the belly and work up to a 12 second inhale. Start small and slowly progress. Repeat the exercises five times a day.
To do this exercise, lay on your back, bend the knees and place the feet on the ground. Taking care to keep your lower back on the floor, slowly tilt the pelvis up. You will feel the contraction of the muscles in the lower back. Hold the position as you take a deep belly breath, then relax.
Slowly lower your pelvis and flatten your back. Push it down to the floor and close the space between the spine and the floor. The abdominal muscle will tighten, then hold this for at least 5 seconds before relaxing. Do 20 reps of this in the morning and another 20 in the evening.
A pelvic tilt can also be done with the help of an exercise ball. Keep your legs at the proper angle and your feet firmly on the ground. Move your pelvis only and keep your knees stables. Tilt forward and backward or thru a circular motion to better strengthen your side abdomen.
This exercise can be a challenge especially if you lived a sedentary lifestyle for quite some time. It calls for balance and strength to accomplish this exercise. But with these elements, you can effectively stabilize your spine muscles and help reduce back pain. To do this, lay on your side with the lower forearm on the floor. Stack your feet together and place your elbow under the shoulder to keep the body aligned.
Then lift your pelvis off the floor as you press your lower forearm and keep your feet stacked together. If you feel unstable, you can leave your knees on the floor or separate your feet. Take some belly breaths as you hold this plank for at least 30 seconds. Do this exercise on both sides two to three times daily for even strengthening.
To better improve your stability, you can explore advanced stabilization exercises with the consent of your Chiropractor. Ball bridges exercise involves unpredictable movements that you have to respond to. Lay on the floor and prop booth feet on the exercise ball. Keep legs straight and relax arms on the side. Check for a neutral spine position, hold and slowly tighten the buttocks muscle to lift the pelvis off the floor. Hold steady for a few seconds and lower slowly.
This passive exercise uses minimal muscle effort but it can significantly help in stabilizing your spine. To do this, lay on the floor with bent knees and place feet firmly on the floor. Check for a neutral spine position and maintain as you stretch one leg slowly. Lift your feet toward the ceiling and use both hands to support the back of the thigh. Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds then do it on the other leg. Repeat the exercise three times.
Stretching and Aerobic Conditioning
Apart from the exercises mentioned above, stretching for flexibility and aerobic conditioning are also essential in lower back stabilization. Flexibility allows the muscles to easily assume a neutral position. On the other hand, cardiovascular conditioning is crucial in building muscle strength and endurance. Consult with your doctor for other types of exercises that you can do to further strengthen your muscles and improve your body’s stability. It should be combined with the program so that you can maintain a neutral spine position while protecting your back as you work out.
Many patients may not tolerate stabilization exercises because it is rigorous and tiring. Elderly patients in severe pain may conduct less strenuous exercises as a form of physical therapy. The exercises mentioned above will help in stabilizing muscles so that you can proceed to more complex strengthening activities as you move forward with your treatment. Doing these exercises as recommended lessens the risk of re-injuring yourself and provides better relief for your lower back pain. It is also advisable to make some lifestyle changes and become more active to prevent muscles from weakening. Are you ready to pursue better spine care, then make an appointment with Normal Odell, at the Odell Family Chiropractor today!