If your body is suffering back pain, your last desire be doing is to get up. For the majority of back suffering people, the best path towards relief is to move through the discomfort. This may sound strange, but exercises are more effective in alleviating lower back pain than passive methods like medication or bed rest braces, as per research.
In Part 1 of the series we discussed the importance of understanding the causes that could be causing back discomfort to determine the most effective treatment plan.
We’ll now focus on helping you complete exercises to figure out which will relieve pain and improve the back health.
The power of movement as a form of medicine
Created to move Your body must be active to maintain optimal well-being. If you sit for prolonged periods, your muscles get weaker as connective tissue stiffens, and joint lubrication decreases. However, exercise improves your health and helps you to sustain it. Your body’s physiology rewards you for your exercise by releasing hormones that make you feel good and reducing stress.
The most prevalent causes of back problems include breathing mechanics and hip tension, posture physical trauma, degenerative ageing and sedentary lifestyles as well as pregnancy or weight issues or stress. Since the majority of these are linked to muscle issues, using corrective exercises to loosen and build the muscle groups that help support and move the spine is crucial to reducing and the risk of back discomfort.
Pay attention to your body
Mind-Body Connection is a bridge that allows you to develop an attuned awareness of your physical condition and allows you to respond to the body’s signals.
When you experience back discomfort, misinterpreting or not paying attention to pain signals can result in injury. Overreacting could result in unneeded tests, medication and procedures that may slow healing. Utilizing your brain-body connection, you will be able to distinguish between the warning signs that tell you to stay clear of certain moves and more moderate ones that are caused by joint stiffness and muscle tension. The latter type of pain we’d like to overcome to get relief.
Meditation and breathing techniques can improve your connection between mind and body when you do the exercises below.
Practicing corrective exercises
Three exercise categories are provided for treating lower back pain , with exercises to help you try them out.
If you are doing any exercise take a break immediately if discomfort increases or feels “wrong.” Pay attention to any sensations you feel.
I’ve designed these exercises to tackle the most frequent reasons for back pain, however because there are many different causes of back pain, and not every back discomfort responds the same treatment the same exercises will not are suitable for all. Consult your physician to find out the root of your discomfort and obtain approval prior to beginning any exercise regimen.
While many of these exercises work to relieve lower back discomfort and sciatic nerve symptoms Part III of our series will concentrate on sciatica and will provide additional options for managing the nerve-related manifestations that it causes.
1. Training for breathing and posture
The practice of diaphragmatic breathing correctly is the basis of every back pain prevention and treatment strategies I employ for professional sport. Since your breathing muscle diaphragm is also a postural and core muscle that is attached to your back, lumbar spine and rib-cage, by developing an appropriate breathing biomechanics, it can reposition your spine and pelvis, as well as your rib cage, while also strengthening your core. Deep breathing can also reduce the body’s stress response and helps in recovering.
As well as the breathing exercise 5-7-3 from Part I You can also try the breathing bridge exercise using the steps below or by viewing this instructional video (shown above). For more information on the effects of breathing on general health, refer to my series on breathing.
Start on getting on your back by bending your knees, and feet on the floor, hips from each other.
Use a foam block or a towel rolled between your knees, to stop your knees from spreading out.
Your hands should be placed over your lower ribs, to control and monitor their movements into and out of every breath.
Inhale deeply, drawing your lower ribs towards each other, noticing your core get stronger and your rib cage slide downwards. After the exhale, and without inhaling, you can tuck your tailbone inwards to bring your lower back and raise your hips about 3 or 4 inches off the ground.
While maintaining the bridge position Maintaining the bridge posture, take five slow deep breaths that are focused on the proper movement of your ribs and exhales, focusing on the exhale.
Keep this posture by with the power of your glutes and your core to ensure that you don’t let your low back arch.
Be careful not to move your rib cage when breathing. You shouldn’t feel tension or strain in your neck, jaw or shoulders.
If you experience a nagging discomfort when you lift your hips to the bridge, stay on your legs and hips back on the floor while you work on your breathing exercises.
Try two sets for the total of 10 breaths.
2. Exercises for pelvis and hip mobility
The lumbar vertebrae of your lower back are not made to twist; they’re designed to be sturdy. The hips are built with ball-and socket joints that permit to rotate in all directions.
However, if your hips are too tight or your pelvis does not move in a fluid way, you place pressure on your lower back. It’s crucial to prevent this pressure by creating the right balance between pelvis and hip mobility, and stabilization of the lumbar spine.
Involving the hip flexors in a way is an important starting point to improve pelvis and hip mobility. Watch this video to learn my hip flexor release in three directions.
3. Exercises to help the midback rotation
The thoracic spine located in between the back is designed to rotate however if it fails to move properly it causes your lower back to adjust. Midback rotation exercises are great to relieve the low back pressure and promoting healthy spinal mobility.
This double bent-knee flexion uses breathing and rib motion to aid in healthy rotation in mid-way up the back and keep your lower back steady. When you’re trying any back twisting exercise, remember these guidelines in your mind.
Double bent knee twist
Place your body on your right side and bend your knees to 90 degrees, and your feet aligned towards your hips.
Put a cushion or pad underneath your head to ensure your neck stays neutral.
Set a yoga block, or a pillow between your knees.
Be sure to put your shoulders on your knees, and hips.
Straighten both arms towards the front to align your shoulders, putting your palms togetherand your placing your feet on the floor.
Inhale while extending your left arm to the left , while maintaining your lower body’s place on the right. your hips and knees stay in alignment and in a stack. This is crucial to keep your lower back in place.
The twist should be at towards the center of your back and not from your lower back.
Put your right hand on the side the left side of your leg, to help keep it in the right position.
Focus on the lower ribs being pulled inward towards one side of the ribcage to assist in bringing your the thoracic and rib cage spine deeper into twist.
Continue to breathe for four breaths, keeping the position and keeping your focus on the movement of your ribs on exhales to direct the movement. Release back to where you started.
Repeat on the left side.
After you’ve tried exercises that fall in these three categories, choose which one works best for you. Then keep doing them for at minimum two weeks.
If sciatica is one of the causes of your lower back pain, be sure to check another article of this series to learn methods to ease pain and nerve pain. If you notice improvements on you back health, you can refer to the fourth installment of the series to develop an ongoing maintenance plan that will ensure you are free of discomfort.
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