Back pain is the bane of existence for so many people, and the solution for the problem may seem counterintuitive - but indeed it is exercise! Of course the right exercises make all the difference. Doing sit-ups or leg-lifts may induce more pain than anything else, but replacing those exercises with something more suited to your individual circumstance will make all the difference.
Back pain can be caused by a lack of exercise, weight gain, lifting with your back instead of your knees, and the unavoidable aging process. The best way to deal with it is to exercise regularly, strengthen your core and flexibility, build your muscles, and maintain a healthy weight. Also avoid smoking, slouching and straining your back muscles.
Here are some exercises for improving your back muscles and eliminating back pain:
Decreasing back pain can be accomplished by strengthening your core. But part of doing this requires doing exercises that won't exasperate back pain if you already have it. Instead of doing sit-ups (which can sometimes hurt your back more), try partial crunches - lay down with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest and raise your shoulders off the floor while tightening your stomach muscles. Hold for two seconds and drop back down and repeat.
These stretches help expand your back and they ease muscle tension. They’re called cat stretches because if you’ve ever had a cat, well, you’ve seen them do this! Get on your hands and knees with your knees aligned with your hips. Arch your back (pulling your belly button up towards your spine) and relax your muscles. Go back to the starting position and do it again.
Another great exercise for improving your core, planks can be instrumental in reducing back pain while strengthening your body. And while most people hate doing them, they are extremely beneficial (so learn to love them!). Kneel down on all fours with your hands planted under your shoulders and your legs stretched out straight behind you. Hold your stomach and legs tight, keeping your back straight for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat.
Another exercise shunned by many people, wall sits can improve your core and help reduce back pain. They’re hard to do but when done in short spurts they’re not so bad (really!). Stand about a foot from the wall and lean back until your back is flat against it. Slide down carefully, slightly bending your knees and pushing your lower back against the wall. Hold for 10-15 seconds, slide back up, and repeat.
Trying these exercises can have tremendous results and lead to a happy, healthier lifestyle with way less back pain! Strengthening your core may be hard at the beginning, making some of these exercises difficult, but keep at it and you’ll feel the difference in no time.
And please be sure to consult your physician before starting a new diet or training regimen to be sure it’s the right thing for you.