When you suffer from low back pain, you may be unable to perform any type of “normal” task.
Walking, standing, lifting and other ordinary activities may be too painful to handle, disrupting your everyday life.
One of the primary means of treating back pain is engaging in a systematic strength training program that provides support to the muscles and tendons in the back that have been affected and are causing you pain.
Research has shown that while a weakening in the muscles can lead to further injury and pain, a regular routine of strengthening can reduce both pain and chance of future injury.
Consider exercises to strengthen your back, but before you start any exercise program, please check with your doctor.
Before beginning a strength training program for back pain relief:
- For best results, engage in strength training exercises 2 or 3 times a week, for 30 minutes each session.
- Prioritize exercises that provide strength training to the buttocks, legs, abdominal and back.
- Strength training doesn’t require any fancy equipment or memberships to a gym. The exercises can be done with minimal tools and are all easy to do in your own home or office.
- Use gravity or small weights or resistance bands to provide the tension necessary to develop strength.
- Resistance training focuses on the muscles and how they extend and flex. Slow, steady movements are more essential than sudden, jerky movements.
- Instead of focusing on weight, use smaller weights and increase the number of repetitions.
- New pain that develops during strength training should not be ignored. Take a break from training until the pain subsides and you are able to return to your exercises.
- Stretch before and after your strength training. If you have muscle soreness, use ice as needed for relief.
What type of exercises should you do to strengthen your back? The following exercises are helpful to give your back the support it needs. If you experience sharp, burning pain at any point during your exercise, stop immediately and consult your doctor. Focus on repetition and slow movements to maximize your workout.
- Lay on the floor on your stomach and make the “superman” pose by extending your arms in front of you.
- Elevate your hands and feet about 6 inches off the ground, or until you feel the muscles in your back tighten.
- Lifting your belly button off the floor will engage your core muscles. Keep your eyes on the floor to avoid neck strain. Hold the pose for 2 seconds before relaxing.
- Repeat for 10 poses
- Lay on your back on the floor with your feet hip-width apart, flat on the floor.
- Place your hands on the floor by your side.
- Inhale deeply, pulling your belly button towards your spine.
- Hold while you count to 5, then exhale and release your abdominal muscles.
- Repeat 5 times.
- Lay on your back on the floor, with your feet placed flat.
- Hands by your sides, press into the floor with your feet, while slowly lifting your buttocks from the ground until your body is a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Count slowly to 15, then lower your buttocks back to the floor.
- Perform 3 sets of 15.
- Lay on the ground facing up, with your knees bent and feet flat.
- Cross your arms over your chest.
- While exhaling, pull your belly button towards your spine.
- Lift your shoulders off the ground slowly, keeping your neck aligned to your spine.
- Relax back to the ground.
- Repeat for 10 cycles.
- Lay on your side, keeping your legs together.
- With your lower leg slightly bent, raise your upper leg towards the ceiling about 18 inches.
- Hold your leg straight for 2 seconds.
- Repeat the movement 10 times before changing to the other side.
Strength training is an essential part of both recovery and prevention for back pain. The use of strengthening exercises can provide you with support for areas of your spine that have been weakened.
Are you recovering from an injury that left you with back pain? By including strength training in your recovery, not only are you supporting the area that was injured, you’re helping to prevent future injury by improving your muscle strength. Contact our office today for a consultation, we can develop a customized treatment plan for you.