Low Back Pain Exercises (i)

Growing up, I always thought waist pain/back pain/low back pain was ascribed to old men, but nowadays a lot of the youth and middle aged are also finding themselves with the same predicament. This is why I decided to do the back pain series; in this series I will be talking about exercises, diets and other things apart from medication that can help ease lower back pain. There are a lot of lower back pain treatment options, ranging from medication to surgery to surgery, but one of the most sustainable and effective solutions for eliminating chronic back pain is regularly practicing back strengthening exercises. Certain foods have also been shown to help ease back pain and others aggravate it.

Statistically, back pain will affect virtually all of us at some point in our lives. More often than not, due to sedentary lifestyles, improper sitting and walking postures and other factors, many of us tend to experience low back pain, which sometimes ranges from mild to severe.


 

So lets start with some back strengthening exercises!

The Piriformis Muscle Stretching Exercise

The piriformis muscle runs from the back of the femur (thigh bone) to the sacrum(base of the spine). Tightness in this muscle has been linked to sacroiliac joint dysfunction and even sciatica-type pain along the sciatic nerve. Exercising to stretch this muscle has been shown to bring relief. To stretch the piriformis, lie on your back and cross the involved leg over the other . With both knees bent, place both hands together under the knee of the other leg (the lower leg), and gently pull the bottom leg toward your chest and hold both thighs closely until a stretch is felt in the buttock area.

 

  • Hold for 30-45 seconds
  • Repeat 1 or twice per day

Watch the Piriformis Muscle Stretching Exercise Here. This shows explicitly how to safely do this exercise.


The Sphinx

Lie on your stomach, prop yourself up on your forearms. Align your elbows directly under your shoulders. Press firmly through your palms and the tops of your feet. Press your pubic bone forward. You will feel sensations in your lower back, but breathe through it. You are allowing blood flow into the lower back for healing. Hold for 1-3 minutes.

 


The Psoas Major Muscle Stretching Exercise

The Psoas Major muscle attaches to the front portion of the lower spine (from thoracic segment 12 through lumbar segment 5) and can greatly limit low back mobility when tight. For people  who have difficulty standing for extended periods or kneeling on both knees, it is one of the sources of low back pain. This muscle can be stretched in a half kneeling position (kneeling on one knee). Rotate the leg outward and tighten the gluteal muscles on the side you’re stretching. Next, lean forward through the hip joint rather then bending through the lumbar spine. A stretch should be felt in the front of the hip that the patient is kneeling on.

 

  • Hold for 30-45 seconds
  • Repeat
  • 1-2 times per day

 

 

 

 


Hamstring Muscle Stretching Exercise

The hamstrings run from the back of the ishial tuberosity (pelvic bone) to just below the back of the knee. They are responsible for bending the knee and assisting the gluteal muscles to extend the hip. These muscles are very important to stretch because, when tight, they make it nearly impossible to sit up straight. People who do not sit with an erect posture run the risk of early onset of degenerative disc disease and other back problems. Tight hamstring muscles are closely associated with low back pain. One way to gently stretch hamstring muscles is to lie on the back and grasp the leg behind the knee with the hip flexed to 90 degrees and the knee bent. Attempt to straighten the knee with the toes pointed back toward you.

 

  • Hold for 30-45 seconds
  • Repeat
  • 1-2 times per day

Watch the Hamstring Muscle Stretching exercise Here

 

 


The Gluteus Medius Muscle Strengthening (Hip Abductor Exercise)

This muscle (the hip abductor) is used to raise the leg laterally at the hip and also supports the pelvis when standing on one leg (single leg stance). If this muscle is weak, the opposite pelvis will drop when single leg stance is performed. Functionally, single leg stance is performed whenever someone walks. A weak gluteus medius will result in the opposite hip dropping during the gait cycle and can cause an increase in low back pain and hip pain with walking.

To strengthen the gluteus medius, lie on one’s side with the back against the wall. Draw the belly button in while maintaining a neutral spine. Raise the upper leg with the toes slightly pointed toward the ceiling and the heel maintaining contact with the wall. Perform slowly with a 2 second hold at the top.

 

  • 10-15 repetitions per side
  • Once a day
  • 3-5 days per week

 

In my next article, I will talk about a couple more of exercises that can help ease low back pain.


If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I would love to have your feedback too, let me know what you think about the post.

Stay Healthy,

Dela.

2 thoughts on “Low Back Pain Exercises (i)”

  1. This is a very interesting website. I myself have had serious back pain for over 15 years. I do not believe in constant medicating and surgery is just not for me. You sound very intelligent on this matter and I am definitely going to try these exercises.

    1. Great to hear from you Maria. Sorry to hear about your experience. I’m optimistic the exercises will be of help, I’ll be doing more posts on back pain, other remedies apart from exercise, do check in from time to time.

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