When lower back pain hits, the impact is real. Limited mobility, debilitating pain, and an inability to enjoy yourself can put severe limitations on your life. But what’s even more frustrating is that the majority of chronic back pain cases don’t have a diagnosable cause and traditional treatments rarely work.
What does seem to work, however, is movement, strength, and flexibility. By working a few movements into your daily routine, you may be able to alleviate back pain and prevent it from coming back.
Bridges work the gluteus maximus, the large muscle in your butt. Strong glutes help support your back and relieve pressure from the area.
- Lie face-up on the ground, slightly bending the knees with feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart.
- Have arms beside you, parallel to your body and shoulders against the floor.
- Press feet into the floor, keeping arms at your sides.
- Raise butt off the ground until you can draw a straight line from your shoulders to knees. (Knees should have a 90-degree bend at this point.)
- Contract (squeeze) butt muscles (glutes) and hold for a few seconds.
- Slowly return to starting position
- Rest a few seconds and repeat 15 times.
- Perform three sets of 15.
Knee to Chest Stretch
A knee to chest stretch can help elongate the muscles in your lower back to potentially relieve tension and pain.
- Lie down with your back on the floor with knees slightly bent.
- Bring one knee up and grab it with both hands.
- Pull the knee towards your chest, pressing your spine into the floor and keeping abdominal muscles tight.
- Hold for 5-15 seconds and return the starting position. Do the other leg.
- Do each leg two to three times twice per day.
Supermans help you learn to engage the muscles in your lower back, promoting strength and better posture.
- Lie face down on the floor with both arms outstretched in front of you. Have legs stretched out behind you and flat on the ground.
- Attempt to raise both your hands and feet off the ground about 6 inches.
- Try to pull your belly button in, lifting it off the floor to engage abdominals and lower back.
- Keep your head straight and do not stretch it back to look ahead, doing so can lead to injury.
- Stretch hands and feet out as far as possible and hold for two seconds.
- Return to the starting position and repeat ten times.
If you have low back pain that has not resulted from an acute injury, exercise might be one of the best ways to relieve pain and regain your life. Try these movements in addition to walking and other activity to give yourself the best chance at erasing back pain.