Back pain can be a frustrating and debilitating condition. If the back pain is caused by nerve or vertebrae damage then it can be difficult to treat, but in many cases back pain is caused by a weak core or poor posture. In those cases it is possible to manage the pain using exercises to correct your posture and strengthen your core.
Before you start an exercise regimen to manage back pain it is a good idea to talk to your doctor to make sure that it is safe to try exercises. Doing the wrong exercises could make your back pain worse.
Stretches for Back Pain
A bottom to heels stretch is great for treating lower back pain. To do this stretch, kneel down on all fours with your knees positioned under your hips and your hands positioned directly under your shoulders. Keep your elbows relaxed, not locked, and pull your shoulders back. Focus on keeping your neck long and a slight (but not excessive) arch in your back.
Pull your bottom back towards your heels while keeping a neutral curve in your spine. Once you have pulled your bottom back as far as it will go hold that position while you take one deep breath and then slowly return to your starting position.
Knee rolls are good for mobilizing your spine. To perform a knee roll, lie flat on your back with a book or a small cushion underneath your head. Bring your knees up so that they are bent, and hold them together. Tuck your chin slightly and try to keep your upper body relaxed.
Slowly roll your knees to one side. When your knees have gone as far as they will, let your pelvis roll as well. Make sure that both shoulders remain in contact with the floor. Again, hold this stretch while you take a deep breath and then bring your knees back to the starting position. Perform this stretch on both sides.
Another good exercise for improving the mobility of your spine is back extensions. This exercise begins with you lying on your front. Prop yourself up on your elbows, and make sure that your shoulders are pulled back. Try to keep your neck long as you perform the exercise.
Push down on your hands to help yourself to arch your back. This should stretch your stomach muscles slightly. When you reach the maximum extension that you can perform without pain, hold the position for ten seconds and then relax.
Deadlifts are good for strengthening your core. You should perform them with a weight that is heavy, but not so heavy that you sacrifice form to lift it. Stand with your feet underneath the bar of the barbell and squat down, keeping your head and chest up. Hold the bar and stand up, keeping your core strong at all times. Do not arch your back. Once you have stood all the way up, squat back down to place the barbell back on the floor.
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