Stretching and exercising are two of the best ways to reduce chronic back pain and improve your overall health. Though it is often challenging to stay fit while struggling with chronic back pain, exercising is perhaps the most effective way to reduce flare-ups and increase strength and flexibility.
Equipment and Safety
If you are new to fitness, you may wish to consider purchasing a few basic pieces of equipment before starting a workout routine. As most core exercises require lying on the floor, you will probably want to use an exercise mat for optimal comfort. For those who are uncomfortable lying on the ground, an exercise ball can also be used to perform many core exercises. If you choose to purchase an exercise ball, be sure to purchase a ball that is the right size for you. Ideally, your legs should be bent at a 90 degree angle while sitting on the ball.
When beginning a new core exercise routine, it is important to remember that not all exercises are suitable for every individual. If you feel that certain stretches or movements are causing your pain to become worse, you should eliminate the exercises from your fitness routine.
If you are currently out of shape, don’t rush into intense abdominal exercise routines. Individuals who suffer from back pain should begin by focusing on simple stretches and core exercises for lower back pain. By improving your overall fitness, you will prepare yourself for more rigorous back exercises for back pain. Once you reach your peak level of fitness, you may even find that your back pain has gone away for good.
Top Core Strengthening Exercises for Lower Back Pain
Though there are many excellent core exercises for lower back pain, these four are especially straight-forward. Best of all, these exercises only require an exercise mat. For individuals with general tightness or soreness in the back, these exercises can be performed daily for back pain relief. If these exercises are difficult for you, try performing them for shorter durations of time.
To discover how to do these exercises, read the descriptions and view the video below.
To perform the cat-to-camel exercise, get down on your hands and knees on your exercise mat. As you inhale, arch your back upwards into the “camel” position. Hold this position for a few seconds and then exhale, curving your lower back as far inwards as you can. Hold this “cat” position for a few seconds before returning to the “camel” position.
This simple alternation between rounding and arching the back can be performed as many times as you like. Beginners may wish to start with 8 to 10 repetitions of the exercise.
2.) Sideways Plank with Raises
If you are new to core workout routines, this exercise may be a challenge. For the first time, consider performing this exercises for only 15 seconds.
To get into the sideways plank position, situate yourself sideways on your exercise mat. Place one elbow on the floor and bend your legs at the knees. Push your torso upwards using your elbow so that only your knees, calves, and elbow are touching the ground. Hold this sideways plank for 30 seconds.
Maintain the sideways plank position while performing the 10 raises. To perform the raises, simply draw your hip slightly upwards before lowering it to meet the ground. Raise and lower the hips 10 times to complete the exercise. Flip onto your opposite side and repeat the steps above.
Though sideways planks are challenging, they are a great abdominal exercise for strengthening the core and the lower back simultaneously.
3.) Bird Dogs
Bird Dogs are a fairly gentle exercise for back pain relief. To perform this exercise, get onto your hands and knees on your exercise mat. Raise your right arm and your left leg simultaneously, holding them straight out at shoulder level. Maintain this position for five seconds. Using your left arm and your right leg, repeat the exercise. Perform 5 to 10 repetitions for optimal pain relief.
4.) Partial Curls
Begin by lying flat on your exercise mat. Draw one knee upwards, resting your foot on the exercise mat for support. The other leg should remain flat on the ground. Place both hands under the arch of your lower back.
Draw your head, neck, and shoulder upwards as if you were beginning a crunch. Don’t perform a full crunch, however. Your shoulders should only barely leave the ground while performing partial curls. Your chin should only come as far forward as your shoulders. Bring your head up into the partial curl, and then relax. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 times.
Additional Core Exercises
If you already possess a good amount of core strength, you can also perform some more intermediate exercises to relieve back pain. If these exercises are easier than those listed above, you can eliminate the challenging repetitions and replace them with alternative exercises.
Patients suffering from conditions such as herniated discs may need to stick to the exercises that put less strain on the lower back. If a particular exercise causes you pain, you should stop and proceed to the next exercise.
There are hundreds of additional exercises that can help you build up core strength for back pain relief. With a little research, you can discover even more core exercises for supporting your back and abdomen.
Core Exercises with an Exercise Ball
If you have access to an exercise ball, you can perform even more core exercises with the ball. There are numerous lower back exercises that can be done using an exercise ball, ranging from seated stretches to more rigorous exercise ball sit-ups.
Though an exercise ball isn’t a necessity, using one will allow you to perform additional core exercises. To treat and prevent lower back pain, consider purchasing an exercise ball or using one at your local gym.
Exercises for Reducing Sciatic Nerve Pain
Individuals with sciatica should be aware that many of these exercises will not target sciatic nerve pain. Instead of performing exercises to relieve back pain, sciatica patients should stick to stretches that reduce sciatic pain. These powerful stretches may temporarily redirect pain from the legs back up into the back. This, however, is a sign that the stretches are working. With daily stretching, your sciatic pain can be greatly reduced.
By improving your core strength, you can proactively treat your back pain, reducing current aches while preventing future problems. Frequent exercise also benefits the entire body, leading to better health overall.
Through regular exercise and stretching, many individuals have dramatically reduced their lower back pain. By performing core exercises regularly, you can have a happier and healthier back, too.