Lower Back Pain Exercises - Exercises for Lower Back Pain

by Seth Cooper

If you have acute back pain due to strain or minor injury, then limited rest for 24 to 72 hours can help. Too much inactivity can worsen such problems, though. So it is a good idea to get moving as soon as you feel comfortable, and not to let your fear of pain keep you immobilized. Start with gentle, small movements and work from there.

Any exercises that move you into comfortable positions tend to be the best for treating back problems. So avoid activities and positions that could cause or increase back pain. Comfortable exercise and gentle activity are the best combination to stay flexible, build strength, and reduce back pain symptoms.

Lower back pain exercises include three basic types (1) strengthening exercises that focus on the back, legs, and stomach, to increase spinal support; (2) stretches that increase your muscle and tissue flexibility, which makes them less prone to injury; and (3) aerobic exercises, to strengthen the back and other muscles, along with the heart.

First, here are two lower back pain exercises that can help you stretch and strengthen. The great thing about these two is that you can do them nearly anywhere. As you do each exercise, pay attention to proper form and don't move any faster than you feel is safe.

1. An easy back stretch:

A lot of back pain comes from doing desk work. Every hour or so, stand up, spread your feet apart slightly, place your fingertips into the hollow of the lower back, and slowly stretch back so that your shoulders and face move toward the ceiling. Keeping your balance, reach a comfortable position, and go no further. Hold this position for five to ten seconds. You may want to inhale and exhale "into the lower back" once or twice to help relieve tension and increase your depth of relaxation. Then repeat several times. The reason this works is that it moves the body into a position that is contrary to the sitting at the desk position, so it's great for breaking up tension. Try it!

2. An easy back strengthener:

Lie on the floor, facing the ceiling. Relax your back against the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat against the floor. Slowly raise your head and shoulders. Keep your eyes fixed on the ceiling. Count to two, holding this position. Slowly bring your head and shoulders to the floor again. Do this sequence a total of twenty times.

3. Aerobic exercises:

Easy aerobic exercises include walking, bicycling, swimming, and wading in waist-deep water. These activities increase the level of oxygen in your body, which helps to keep back muscles healthy.

For most, walking is the easiest and most accessible form of exercise to decrease lower back stress. Walking is far less stressful than standing still, because as you shift the weight from leg to leg, you are giving the other leg "half time off." This constant and alternating release of weight supports improved back health. So take a walk three days a week for at least twenty minutes. It's a great antidote to sitting at the desk or standing on your feet!

Back Muscle Pain

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