Back Pain Solved By Exercise - Ways To Relieve
research has shown that nearly 80% of all Americans will experience
some type of back pain in their lives. I believe it as I've seen
countless people, not just in my line of work, but everywhere I
seem to go. Someone's always complaining about back problems. The
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons believes this as well, as
they say 80% of us out there will encounter some type of problem
with our back before we die.
Usually, the treatment for lower back pain is increasing core strength
to increase flexibility on muscles that are tight, which will provide
better stabilization of the spine and exercises to correct the imbalances
of the muscles. The muscles that surround the spine will provide
stability and support of the spinal column.
Every muscle between the hips and shoulders are included as well,
as these muscles are referred to as the core muscles. Back pain
can be a result of muscle imbalances caused by any of these core
muscles. Our society has shifted so much over the past 20 years
to more and more sedentary jobs, causing everyone to slouch over
in their seat while sitting at their desk, resulting in loose back
We have been training, unknowingly, to provide our bodies with
imbalances. It's just ludicrous if you really think about it. If
the back of your thighs are weaker than the front of your thighs,
there will be an uneven pull on the front of your spinal column.
The same thing goes for all muscles involved in opposite planes.
There are some effective ways that you can integrate core strength
training exercises into all of the exercises you perform, rather
than doing just the traditional crunches and sit-ups. In fact, I'm
not a huge fan of even doing crunches or sit-ups. I never plug them
into any of my programs as it just seems to repeat what we've been
doing to our bodies already, which is hammering our bodies into
forward flexion, which is where we've run into problems in the first
One way of improving our core strength is by breathing effectively.
Deep breathing will utilize your diaphragm muscles which will help
support the spinal column and lengthen the spine, which is great
for your lower back and supporting you when you walk or run. The
respiratory system is probably the most overlooked system when we
train. I mean, we run all the time, which involves us to breath,
but studies are starting to show that the majority of people actually
have inconsistent breathing patterns.
The plank and bridge exercises can also help you to reduce back
pain and strengthen the core muscles as well. The plank exercise
is performed by having three points of contact on the floor, both
forearms and toes, facing the floor, and contracting our core for
a set amount of time.
Another type of plank is the side plank, which is great for strengthening
your obliques. This exercise involves 2 points of contact, the side
of one foot and one elbow. You'll be perpendicular to the floor,
having to contract one side of your core to keep yourself with a
For the bridge, place your feet on a bench or on the floor and
scoop your pelvis upward, as your rib cage should stay low to reduce
any irritation to your spinal muscles. The bridge will help to relieve
stress on your back and focus the muscle contractions into the glutes
and the hamstrings.
There are also a number of stretches for lower back pain which
include the lumbar side stretch, hip flexor stretch, and calf stretches,
as all three can help to alleviate the pull on your spinal column.
When doing a hip flexor stretch, bring one foot forward in a bent
knee, 90 degree angle, while your other leg is on the floor behind
you with your foot pointed upwards toward the ceiling. The hip flexor
stretch will help to open up the muscles of your back on the side
of the spine near your hips. You can also squeeze your glutes as
well to deepen the stretch with each breath you exhale. You should
begin to feel a stretch in your back leg, in the front thigh and
the hamstrings of your front leg. Some people also refer to this
stretch as a runner's stretch.
For the lumbar side stretch, you will bring your legs into a wide
stance with your knees bent while you stand. Simply bring one hand
down towards your foot on the inside of the thighs and your other
hand behind your head.
The last stretch, called the calf stretch, will open up your Achilles
tendon, just below the calf, which is the most distant pull on the
spine. For this, place an object under your foot and lean the weight
of your body forwards. Maintain a steady breathing pattern while
you hold your stretches. After a while, you should begin to feel
a stretch behind your knee and shin.
I'll tell you from experience, as I've "thrown my back out"
before, that inactivity is worse for your back than anything. It
may sound strange, but when you start getting pain in your back,
it's probably time to actually start doing something, rather than
"resting it" even more.
Another important point to consider when doing any activity is
proper form for each exercise. Keeping a neutral spine, instead
of finding yourself bending forward or rounding forward at the shoulders,
is a huge key to staying injury free.
The last thing you should really consider, especially if you're
a seasoned weight lifter, is to build in a few more sets of posterior
chain exercises than anterior chain. This just means, doing a few
more sets for the muscles of the back of your body than the front.
For example, if you're working upper body one day, a superset may
consist of the bench press and the seated row. Normally, you'll
find people always doing the same amount of sets for each exercise
in a superset. Instead, try doing one more set of the seated row
than the bench press. This will help solve the problem of muscle
imbalances that have been created over time.
Back pain can be a huge cause of stress in people's lives. As a
population, we constantly sit for hours upon hours which doesn't
do anything to help solve the problem. If you really want to find
a solution for your back pain, consult a physician and see if you're
healthy enough to start doing some physical activity. It might be
the only prescription you need.