Join Dana Santas four-part series to learn how to recover from and prevent low back pain. Santas, known as the “Mobility Maker,” is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and mental health expert in professional sports, and is the author of “Practical Solutions for Back Pain.” Here is Part I.
(CNN) When you’re suffering from back pain, maybe the last thing you want to do is get out of bed. However, for most people with back pain, the path to relief actually involves walking around the pain. The idea may seem counterintuitive, but exercise is more effective in reducing lower back pain than non-invasive methods such as medication, bed rest and support, according to research.
In Part I of this series, we looked at why it is important to understand the possible causes of back pain in order to evaluate the best course of treatment.
Now, we will focus on helping you go through the exercises to determine the ones that can reduce the pain and restore the health of your back.
Movement as medicine
Designed for movement, your body needs to be active to stay healthy. When you sit for long periods of time, the muscles weaken, the connective tissue tightens and the oil in the joints decreases. Instead, movement heals and protects you. Your psyche rewards your activity by releasing feel-good hormones and reducing stress.
The most common causes of back problems include poor breathing mechanics and posture, hip tension, physical injury, aging, sedentary lifestyle, excess weight or pregnancy, and stress. This may interest you : Lots of Beautiful Gloves In Video Games. Because most of these are related to muscle issues, using the right exercises to mobilize and strengthen the muscles that support and move the spine is the key to reducing and preventing back pain.
Listening to your body
The mind-body connection is the bridge that helps you develop awareness of your physical state, enabling you to respond to your body’s messages. To see also : Keep Breathing: What to Know About the Netflix Show Before Watching.
For back pain, misunderstanding or ignoring pain messages can lead to injury, while overreaction can lead to unnecessary tests, medications and procedures that can slow recovery. By harnessing your mind-body connection, you can better distinguish between cautionary feelings that warn you to avoid certain activities and more severe ones that result from muscle spasms and joint stiffness. The latter is the kind of pain we want to go through to get relief.
Mindfulness meditation and breathing techniques can help you strengthen your mind connection while working on lower body exercises.
Practicing corrective exercises
Here are three sets of exercises for dealing with low back pain with examples for you to try. To see also : Osteoarthritis: 10 Lifestyle Changes to Slow the Progression of Osteoarthritis.
When doing any exercise, stop immediately if your pain increases or feels “wrong.” Remember to pay attention to any feelings you experience.
I designed these exercises to address the most common causes of back pain, but because not all back pain responds to the same treatment, not all exercises work for everyone. Talk to your doctor to understand the source of your pain and get approval before starting an exercise program.
Although many of these exercises can work on low back pain with symptoms of the sciatic nerve, Part III of our series will focus on sciatica and provide additional ways to manage presentations related to the nerve.
1. Breathing exercises and postures
1. Exercises for breathing and posture
Practicing proper diaphragmatic breathing is the foundation of all back pain treatment and prevention programs I use in professional sports. Because your primary breathing muscle, the diaphragm, is also the core and back muscle that attaches to your lumbar spine and rib cage, by practicing proper breathing biomechanics, you can realign your spine, pelvis and rib cage. by strengthening your core. Deep breathing also slows the body’s stress response and facilitates recovery.
In addition to the 5-7-3 breathing exercises in Part I, try the breathing bridge exercise by following the instructions below or by watching this video (shown). For information on the effects of breathing on overall health, read the breathing series.
Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, hip-width apart.
Support your knees with a foam yoga mat or towel roll so they don’t come out.
Place your hands on your lower ribs to guide and follow their movement in and out with each breath.
Breathe in fully, pulling your lower ribs together, feeling your core engage and your rib cage move down. At the end of that exhalation, without exhaling, arch your back to open your lower back and lift your hips 3 or 4 inches off the floor.
Maintaining the bridge form, take five long, deep breaths, focusing on the movement of the right ribs, especially the exhalation.
Hold this position using the strength of your core and glutes to avoid letting your lower back sag.
Avoid upward movement of the rib cage while breathing; You should not feel any stress or tension in your jaw, neck or shoulders.
If you experience pain as you lift your hips up into the bridge, keep your hips back and back to the floor as you inhale.
Repeat two sets for a total of 10 breaths.
2. Hip and hip mobility exercises
2. Exercises for hip and pelvis mobility
The lumbar spine in your lower back is not designed to bend; they are meant to be stable. The hips are designed with ball-and-socket joints to enable rotation in all directions.
Unfortunately, if your hips are tight or your hips don’t move freely, you’re putting pressure on your lower back. It is important to avoid this stress by creating a healthy balance of hip and hip mobility and lumbar stability.
Addressing hip flexion is a key starting point for hip and hip mobility. Check out this video for a three-way hip flexor release.
3. Exercises for the central rotation of the back
3. Exercises for midback rotation
Your cervical spine in the middle of your back is designed for rotation, and when it doesn’t rotate properly, it causes your lower back to compensate. Core rotation exercises are great for reducing stress on the lower back and creating healthy movement.
This knee bend twist uses breathing and corresponding rib movement to support healthy rotation in your lower back while keeping your lower back stable. When trying any type of back bending exercise, keep these guidelines in mind.
Lie on your right side with your knees bent 90 degrees and straight in front of your hips.
Use a pad or pillow under your head to keep your neck in neutral.
Place a yoga block or pillow between your knees.
Make sure you keep your shoulders, hips and knees aligned.
Hold both arms straight out in front of you at your shoulders with palms together and hands on the floor.
Exhale as you open your left arm to the left while keeping your lower body on the right; The knees and hips are straight and stacked. This is important for keeping your lower back stable.
Arch your middle back — don’t arch your lower back.
Place your right hand on the outside of your left leg to help hold it in place.
Inhale and focus on pulling your lower ribs inward to the right side of your rib cage to help shift your rib cage and your thoracic spine further.
Take four more breaths, holding the position and continuing to focus on the movement of the ribs on the breath to guide the circulation. Then go back to the beginning.
After trying exercises that fit these three categories, decide what works for you and do it every day for at least two weeks.
If sciatica is part of your lower back pain, look for the next article in this series of techniques to reduce your nerve pain. Once you start to see improvements in your back health, refer to the ‘part four’ series to create an active maintenance plan to prevent pain.
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