If you’re over 18, chances are you’ve experienced lower back pain. According to the National Institute of Health, 80% of American adults will experience this pain once in their lives. In fact, it is the leading cause of workplace disability and the second most common reason for call-offs in the US.
If you suffer from pain but prefer to avoid medication, this article is for you. In it, we outline four of the best lower back exercises you can do to ease your discomfort.
The Best Lower Back Exercises to Manage Your Pain
Before undertaking any exercise, speak with your doctor to ensure you won’t damage your back further. Relief depends on what is causing the discomfort, but these simple stretches and exercises may help.
1. Hamstring Stretches
When hip flexors (the muscles stretching over the top of the thigh and pelvis) are too short, the lower back over-arches. When hamstrings are tight, the back is flattened.
Either of these conditions stresses the muscles and causes pain, which can be relieved with a hamstring stretch.
Try a chair hamstring stretch to start. Sit with one leg straightened and its heel on the floor. Bend your other knee and place your foot flat on the floor. Keep your spine straight as you reach for the toes on the extended leg, stopping when you feel your hamstring stretch.
Repeat with the other leg.
2. Knee to Chest
The knee-to-chest is an excellent stretch for your lower back muscles that may reduce joint stiffness and flexibility.
Lie on your back in the supine position. Your knees should be bent and your feet flat on the floor.
Raise one knee so that you can interlace your hands below the knee and gently pull it towards your bottom. Hold for a few seconds, release the leg and complete the exercise using the other leg.
Studies indicate the gluteus maximus is the main stabilizer for the sacroiliac joint, which connects the sacrum with the pelvis. In strengthening these muscles, individuals experience less discomfort.
Lie face-up on the floor with your arms at your sides. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground.
Lift your hips skyward until your knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line. During this time, your weight should be placed on your shoulders and feet, not your back.
Hold for two seconds, lower slowly to the ground and repeat.
4. Water Exercises
Water is fantastic for relieving pain because it takes weight off the joints, providing relief. Water exercises involve a range of movements that vary depending on the program.
If you’re completing this alone or with a friend, start by wading or lunging forward and backward in waist-high water. Aim for three sets of 10 lunges.
Next, hold onto a wall with one hand for support. Standing still, extend one leg straight in front of you, then move it to extend the appendage behind you. Do three sets of 10 for each leg.
Finally, move to the deep end. Using a floatation belt, bring your knees to your chest and down again 10 times.
These exercises stretch your hip and work the abdominal muscles.
What If These Don’t Help?
Sometimes, even the best lower back pain exercises aren’t enough to relieve an injured spine. For these times, it’s best to consult with a trusted professional. At the Davis Clinic of Chiropractic, Inc., we’ll work with you to discover the cause of your pain and to find a solution. Call us to schedule an appointment or submit a query online.
Don’t let the pain interfere with your daily life.