Back Pain

How To Alleviate Your Back Pain With Lower Back Pain Exercises

When it comes to lower back pain exercises it is the strength exercises that are often left out of the exercise mix. It's very difficult to keep your body in alignment if the muscles designed to support it are not up to the job.

Chances are that if you have lower back pain, the muscles designed to keep your body in alignment have fallen down on the job. How could you expect any 'building' to keep standing tall if the framework and the foundation were crumbling?

It's your muscles that keep the framework in good alignment. Unless they are strong you're leaving yourself wide open to misalignment. When that happens, the ends of bones start grinding against each other. You end up with bone inflammation (arthro – itis).

Muscles, ligaments and tendons around the bones that are out of alignment are stretched beyond their pain threshold. Rubbing, heating and vibrating them will neither strengthen the weak muscles nor loosen the tight muscles that are the underlying cause of the problem.

One of the foundations of a pain free musculo-skeletal system is a body that is strong all over. To become strong you need a regular and systematic strength training program, either at home or in the gym – preferably both.

My research shows that there are four key, general body exercises you can do at home to keep the pelvis and vertebrae in good alignment – situps, pressups, squats and the Superman back arch.

If you don't have a regular exercise schedule involving these four exercises, there's a high likelihood that sooner or later you can expect lower back pain.

The corollary is true. Start doing these exercises, plus your flexibility exercises and there's a high likelihood the pain will go away.

For a safe situp, have your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. You may put your feet under a rail to help lever yourself up. In this position you strengthen most of the major muscles on the lower front part of your body. With your feet under the rail and your fingers on your ears aim to build up to 40 on the trot. If that's too hard, position your fingers and arms on your thighs.

For pressups you can start on the front of the top of your thighs (not your knees) and as your strength improves graduate to doing them on your toes. It's a convention that women do them on the thighs but I watched Valda do 30 on her toes when she was 66. The target is 40 on the toes for men and 40 on the thighs for women.

To make the squats easier, place your heels on a piece of board, an inch and a half high. That way you'll be able to take your bottom right down to your heels without falling over. If your knees aren't up to it, go half way down, to the point where your thighs are parallel to the floor. Over the weeks and the months you'll be able to build up to 40.

The Superman back arch involves lying face down, lifting your legs off the floor and then your chest and arms. It sounds easy, but a lot of people find it quite hard because the muscles on the back side of their body are very weak. You have to build up to the point where you can comfortably. Aim for a minute of ups and downs.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and strengthen your trunk, front, back and core.

John Miller

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