We are the first line of defense and prevention especially when it comes to lower back pain, a very common condition.
by Long Van, D.C.
For a long time as a practitioner, I have realized that we do not take care of our health. We have come to depend on others to take care of our conditions for us, not realizing that we are the source of what is going on. We need to understand that we own our body, and it’s with us 24/7. We need to take charge of our bodies, especially when it comes to lower back pain, a growing sickness trend in America.
About 80% of Americans experience some form of lower back pain. We think that there has to be some kind of trauma to have lower back pain, but we don’t realize that what we do every day can cause lower back pain. People sitting too long in the wrong position will cause lower back pain. People bending and twisting in the wrong motion will cause lower back pain. Gaining too much abdominal fat will cause lower back pain, etc. But there are ways that we can prevent this condition to arise too frequently.
There are simple and natural preventative exercises we can do for lower back pain and these exercises are about strengthening your core muscle.
Do not do full sit ups when you’re having back pain, rather, do partial crunches. Full sit ups stress your back even more, especially since people who do it tend not to do it properly. For this exercise you will want to lay flat on the floor with your knees bent. Cross your arms behind your neck, or over your chest, and tighten your stomach. Then lift your shoulders off of the floor. Keep your arms behind your neck without using them to pull yourself up. Do this 8-12 times a set, resting in between.
Hamstring stretches are an integral move for those seeking back pain remedies. Simply lie on your back with one knee bent. Fold a towel lengthwise, put the center of the towel under the ball of your other foot while gathering both ends of the towel with your two hands. Slowly straighten your knee, while making sure you’re tugging on the towel. You should be feeling a tightening around the back of your leg. Hold this position for about half a minute. Perform this move on both legs 2 to 4 times. It is important to note that you do not push yourself too far or you may start feeling some pain.
This is the simplest exercise, but can still offer a bit of challenge if you are worried about your balance. Stand about 12 inches away from a clean wall, with your back facing it. Lean back until you feel your back is flat against the wall. Slowly slide down the wall. Once you feel your knees bending, hold the position for 10 counts. Slide all the way back up the wall and you have completed the move. Do this up to 12 times.
Knee to Chest
The knee-to-chest stretch consists of one simple movement that is accomplished by lying flat. Lay flat and straight on the ground, extend your arms out to either side of you with your palms down flat. Now bend one knee for support. Then bend your other knee and slowly bring it to your chest while keeping the rest of your extremities flat. Bring it as close to your chest as you can, then hold this position for up to 30 seconds. Then slowly release your knee, and do the same with the other leg. Do this four times per leg.
Any form of cardio-aerobic exercise helps with back pain, because it keeps your blood flowing. However, do this in moderation—stop before a back pain develops from too much exercise. Riding a stationary bike, or walking the treadmill for half an hour helps reduce back pain. Swimming is another option when done in moderation. Keep your core tight and focus on maintaining your balance.
Again, when doing all these exercises, do not push yourself too far—do things always in moderation!
More exercises for back pain may be found in this article: “9 Incredible Exercises To Help Cure Back Pain”