Some people don’t fully wake up ‘til they’ve showered, dressed, and had a cup of coffee, while others spring out of bed bright-eyed and ready to greet the day. Whichever type of person you are, back pain should not be part of your morning routine.
Lower back pain is a problem that many people experience, especially as they get older, but that doesn’t mean that it’s inevitable, and it doesn’t mean that you’re without options.
While some back pain requires medical attention, for many people doing a few simple exercises can make a very big difference. The secret lies in knowing which exercises can help, and which ones can make your situation even worse.
The goal is to strengthen the core muscles that support your spine while also reducing tightness and increasing flexibility, and accomplishing that goal without causing yourself additional pain.
Some of the best exercise options will be very familiar, while others may be new to you, or may be modifications of things you’ve done before. What’s most important is that you do them on a regular basis.
Pick out two or three of the options below and start doing them every morning to see if they provide relief. If your pain persists, it may be time to set up an appointment with our lumbar spine specialist in New Jersey.
You may remember doing sit-ups where somebody sat on your feet and you went from flat on your back, all the way up and then back down again. They can be hard on the discs in your spine, and actually strengthen your hip muscles more than your core muscles.
Instead, do a partial crunch in which you start on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Put your hands behind your head and engage your stomach muscles just enough to raise your shoulders off of the floor, breathing out on the way up, holding the position and then breathing out while you return your shoulders to the floor. Repeat ten times.
It may not seem obvious that tightness in the back of your legs would lead to back pain, but those muscles help support your lower back. To keep them loose and flexible, start out on your back with one leg outstretched and the other bent.
Put a towel around the bottom of your straight leg and then use it to pull that leg up towards your head. The tug you feel along the back of your leg is your hamstring muscle.
Hold the stretch for a count of 15, then switch to the other leg. Be gentle with this movement… don’t stretch to the point of pain.
Modified Leg Lifts
Start out lying on your back with one leg stretched straight out on the floor and the other leg bent at the knee.
Elevate the straight leg so that your foot is about six inches off the ground and hold it in that position, engaging your stomach muscles while you do so.
Lower your leg and repeat ten times, then switch to the other leg.
If you find that these exercises help, keep doing them on a daily basis to make sure that you build on and maintain the strength you’ve added to your core.
If your pain persists, contact our office today to set up an appointment.