The Best Exercises for Back Pain Article of the week October 23 to 27
Lower back pain is extremely common. Researchers have found that 80% of the population will deal with a significant episode of lower back pain at some point in their lives. With this understanding, it makes a lot of sense to do the things that will help keep you in the 20% of the population that is not going to experience lower back pain.
Many people start to perform lower back exercises once they are in crisis. If that is you right now, exercise will almost certainly reduce your back pain in terms of intensity and duration. If you are not currently experiencing any lower back pain, then I would encourage you to spend 5-10 minutes per day performing some simple movements that will decrease the likelihood of you running into a problem.
There are essentially two kinds of lower back exercises that I prescribe for my patients – stretching as well as strengthening. Stretching is obviously aimed at lengthening short, tight muscles which can be a source of pain. Strengthening exercises aim to tone weak muscles so that the everyday activities that you use your back muscles for will be easy and effortless, and unlikely to cause strain or injury.
The idea here is that you want your back to be stronger than is necessary for the day-to-day activities that you are performing. Simple things like vacuuming, raking, washing windows, standing at the sink washing dishes, and carrying groceries into the house all require a certain level of strength in your lumbar (lower back) muscles.
The best exercises for strengthening your back are planks. I'm not sure if you've heard of planks and know what they are, but if you haven't I've created a short video that demonstrates some simple plank movements that could be the ticket to avoiding back pain in the future. Planks are so important because they strengthen core muscles, which are the deep muscles in your body that support your spine. The thing that is unique about planks is that they require you to contract your lower back, abdominals (tummy muscles), hips and shoulders all at the same time, which has been found to strengthen your core more than exercises like sit-ups or crunches.
On top of alleviating back pain, there are other reasons why you should considers incorporating planks into your daily routine. Planking will improve your balance and stability, improve your posture, and improve abnormal curves in the spine for those dealing with scoliosis.
To start, keep it simple. Spend 5 minutes a day experimenting with these new movements. If you have any questions, please ask!
Yours in Health,
Grace Chiropractic – 1-3230 Monarch Drive – 705-323-9100 – http://gracechiropractic.ca