According to stats Canada 4 out of 5 people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. In particular low back pain is the most prevalent. The cause of low back pain can be mechanical; including vertebral disk problems, nerve issues and degeneration. However, in many cases the cause remains unknown. But...... There are many steps you can take to relieve low back pain and maintain the long term health of your back.
The following movements are designed to either bring more flexibility into the spine, or to strengthen the abdomen and the multifidus muscles in the back to create more stability. These exercises are appropriate for almost all back pain sufferers especially those who have chronic disc issues, or instability in their low back. However caution should be exercised during acute episodes.
To gain the most benefit from these movements create consistency by practicing them every day or every other day over the course of a few weeks to a month. And most importantly - pay attention to how your body feels and responds to the movements. If at any time something does not feel right or you feel pain stop the exercise or adjust until you find a place that feels comfortable. These exercises are only guidelines and cannot replace the qualified advice of a yoga instructor or health therapist.
Check out the video:
Exercises for Low Back Pain:
1) Exercise #1
- Begin by coming onto all fours. Place your palms under your shoulders or a little wider than your shoulders. Place your knees directly under the hips.
- Exhale and press into the floor while rounding the back towards the ceiling.
- Inhale and gently arch the back.
- Move slowly and mindfully - pay attention to sensation and your breath.
- Repeat this movement at least ten times
2) Exercise #2
- From all fours gently extend your left leg out behind you while keeping your low back still.
- Lower the left knee back to the ground
- Repeat the movement on the right side
- Lower the right knee
- Repeat movement ten times on each side alternating legs
- Once you have worked with this exercise for a number of weeks (and only if you feel ready) you can incorporate extending your opposite arm while the leg is lifted.
3) Exercise #3
- Roll onto your back, bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor about hip width or wider apart. Place your arms at your sides.
- Bring your attention to the area of the lower back and spine
- On the exhale gently flatten your back to the floor while drawing your belly button towards the spine. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Repeat ten times
4) Exercise #4
- Keep one foot on the floor and hug the opposite knee into your chest
- Take 3 deep slow breaths while continuing to hug the knee into the chest
- Extend the leg you are hugging toward the ceiling. Hold your extended leg and create a gentle stretch. Keep your lower back and sacrum (triangle shaped bone at the base of the spine) fairly flat on the floor. Feel free to bend the extended leg gently if this creates more comfort.
- Switch legs
5) Exercise #5
- Stay lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms on your chest.
- Using your abdominal muscles slightly raise your torso off the floor coming into a gentle curl up.
- Do not raise your head or neck. Work on lifting your chest gently only coming up slightly not all way to a seated position.
- Hold about 5 seconds. Repeat two sets of ten times each.
Keep using these practices consistently and there is a high chance that recurrence of your back pain will be reduced. Good luck and see you soon!