When you suffer from lower back pain, the simple act of breathing can hurt. So it is not uncommon for back pain sufferers to prefer to take it easy until the pain subsides.
But being sedentary for more than a short period of time will only lead to lost flexibility, weakened muscles, and more back pain. Exercises can relieve pressure on the back, and put you on the fast track to recovery. Here are some gentle exercises you can do at home relieve lower back pain.
Lie on your back with your knees bent, and your feet planted on the floor. Place both of your hands behind one knee, and gently bring the knee up to your chest. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds before returning the leg to the starting position. Repeat the movements with the alternating leg. This exercise opens the disc space in the back and relieves pressure on the nerves.
Stand up tall, and slowly bring your chin toward your chest until you feel the stretch in the back of your neck. Hold your chin to your chest for 30 seconds, and repeat. Stretching the neck area is important to provide pliability to the spine, and reduce the stiffness in the neck that often accompanies back pain.
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor, and your arms stretched to the side. Gently let your knees fall to the right side, and hold for 20 seconds. Slowly straighten your top leg as far as you can, and hold for 20 seconds. Return the right leg to the bent position, and then move your legs back to the starting point. Repeat the movements on the alternating side.
Spinal twists add flexibility to the spine, and increase its range of motion. This reduces the risk of injury to the back when you’re twisting, and bending.
Low Impact Aerobics and Walking
The muscles in the back, abs, glutes, and thighs all work to support, and stabilize the spine. So it’s important to keep the body in tip-top condition. Low impact exercises such as walking and aerobics provides overall conditioning of the muscles, speeds recovery time, and reduces the risk of future back injuries.
Ill-fitting footwear can contribute to low back pain by throwing off your center of gravity, and compromising the spine. So whenever you walk or do aerobics, wear comfortable shoes that support your feet properly.
Swimming and Water Exercises
Swimming and other water exercises can strengthen the back muscles, reduce back pain, and increase flexibility. Water exercises are ideal for arthritis sufferers with back pain because the buoyancy of water eliminates stress on the joints.
In addition to using gentle back exercises to reduce low back pain, adhering to proper lifting techniques, practicing proper posture, avoiding positions that compromise the spine, and sleeping on a quality mattress will reduce your risk of future back injury.
Some exercises such as sit-ups, leg lifts, standing toe touches, and lifting heavy weights will only aggravate low back pain and should be avoided. If you have existing pain in your back, talk to a back pain specialist to see what type of exercises are best for your situation.
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