by: Justin Brous
According to the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, approximately 80%, or four out of every five adults will experience some form of back pain throughout their lifetime. That is a staggering number that people should be more aware of in order to take the initiative into preventing future problems with chronic back pain. The Mayo Clinic advises these factors as an effective way to prevent lower back pain which include exercise, especially the strengthening and improving flexibility of abdominal and back muscles, maintaining a healthy weight and the cessation of cigarette smoking. Below are four exercises that improve strength and/or flexibility of you core muscles to promote reduction in lower back pain.
Toes and Elbows Plank
- Lie down flat on your belly, hands out in front of you with your elbows directly below your shoulders.
- Lift up off the ground while squeezing your abdomen to your spine and your butt cheeks together, keeping your body in alignment like it is as rigid as a board.
- Hold the position for specified amount of time
Seated torso twist stretch
- Seated on the floor or in a chair if you can’t make it to the floor.
- Cross one leg over the other, keeping it bent at approximately 90o while placing your opposite arm on the outside your leg that is bent.
- Press your arm against the outside your leg while twisting your torso towards the direction of your bent leg and hold the stretch for a specified amount of time.
- Switch sides and repeat.
- Lie down on your back with your arms at your side, palms face down and both your legs bent at 90o with the soles of your feet flat on the ground.
- Lift your hips up towards the ceiling while squeezing your glutes together until your shoulders, hips, and knees are in alignment.
- Lower your hips back down towards the ground.
- Repeat for as many repetitions as desired.
Cat Cow Stretch
- Start on your hands and knees with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips.
- As you breathe in, lift your head up and push your chest and belly down towards the ground.
- As you breathe out, put your head down between your arms and suck your chest and belly up towards the ceiling.
- Repeat as many times as desired
Lower back pain fact sheet (2018). National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Retrieved on Nov. 7 2018 from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/
Back pain (2018). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on Nov. 7 2018 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/ symptoms-causes/syc-20369906?p=1