Lower back pain is a very common condition that affects millions of people on a daily basis.In fact, the American Physical Therapy Association reports that almost 66 percent of people living in the U.S. experience low back pain. However, less than 40 percent seek treatment for their low back pain.
Low back pain not only affects people who spend the majority of the day standing or walking, but it also impacts individuals who sit most of the day.
While some people are able to manage this pain naturally, others can find the level of pain to be debilitating without the use of medication. While lower back pain can be very hard to deal with, those that are willing to work on it, particularly through exercise, can build up their strength and even experience relief from the pain.
These five exercises in particular that can help you to feel relief from your lower back pain.
1) Hamstring Stretches
When you are looking to exercise your lower back, it is also important to exercise areas of the body that support the lower back, which includes the hamstrings and glutes. Because of this, having your hamstrings strong and limber will help to make the lower back more supported.
This can help the lower back to grow stronger and feel much better. The most effective hamstring stretch is to lie on your back while trying to grab your ankle or toes when your leg is extended upwards.
2) Bird Dog
One exercise that can exercise your lower back without putting too much stress on it is called the Bird Dog. To start this exercise, you will need to get on your hands and needs. Then, while holding your core tight, you will want to lift one leg and extend it directly behind you.
You should then hold this position for up to five seconds and rotate sides several times. The Bird Dog exercise not only works your lower back, but it can also be a good way to exercise your core, legs and arms.
The Knee-to-Chest exercise is another movement that is shown to exercise your lower back and make it stronger. With this exercise, you’ll want to first lay on back with your feet on the floor. When you’re ready to start the movement, you’ll want to keep your legs bent while trying to bring one knee to your chin while keeping your head on the floor. This will help to loosen up your hamstrings and glutes while also stretching your lower back.
When completing this movement, you should hold your leg in for at least ten seconds before rotating sides. You should aim to complete ten reps per leg for one set and finish at least two full sets.
4) Bridge and Pelvic Tilt
The fourth exercise that you can do to help to make your lower back stronger is the bridge and pelvic tilt. This exercise is a very common warmup exercise for those that are looking to run or lift weights. It is also great for those with back problems as it will target the lower back muscles and stretch them.
When completing this exercise, the first thing you’ll want to do is lie flat on the ground with your feet flat on the floor. Then, slowly tilt your pelvis upwards as high as you can while keeping your shoulders and feet planted.
You should hold this position for at least fifteen seconds before bringing your hips back down. In total, you should complete three sets of ten repetitions of the bridge and pelvic tilt.
Finally, one of the best exercises that you can do for lower back pain is yoga. Ideally, you should find a yoga class that is low impact and focuses on stretching as opposed to cardio or strength building.
Some of the best yoga poses for those that have lower back pain include the supine twist, downward dog, cat and cow poses, and the thread the needle pose. All of these focus on stretching either the hamstrings, lower back, or both.
While it is important to make sure that you’re working on exercises that will help to make your back stronger, you also need to avoid exercises that can irritate it. Some exercises that should be avoided until your back is ready again are situps, leg raises, and other exercises that put an unnecessary amount of stress on your back. This can help to avoid aggravating your back and delaying your progress. It always a good idea to work with your doctor, orthopedic specialist or chiropractor to diagnose and treat your low back pain.