Exercises for Back Pain

Understanding Your Exercises for Back Pain

To understand a program of exercises for back pain, you need to know a little more about your spine and how it works. If you think about just your torso with your spine at the back, the ribs that form your chest are connected in such a way that they help to keep the upper back straight.

"But what keeps the lower back straight?"

There are your back muscles of course, and they help, but they are not powerful enough to do it alone. What supports your back are your abdominal muscles that wrap around the contents of your abdomen and connect at each side of your spine.






When these many layers of muscle that wrap around your abdomen are strong and toned they support your spine in a natural position, with a slight curve in your low back. 

But, when your abdominal muscles are soft and weak it reverses that curve in your low back and you slouch forward.

When you slouch forward what holds up your chest and upper back?

When you slouch forward all of the weight comes to rest on the muscles and ligaments and tendons in your low back, with no help from the abdominal or core muscles. Your exercises for back pain must work to build these muscles.

"begin to stretch and tear"

Now remember, all of the tissues that hold the bones in your lower back together are full of nerve endings. And, when these tissues begin to stretch and tear because of the strain of slouching, they become very inflamed and painful. This is the most common cause of low back pain.

Effective treatment for lower back pain requires two things, strengthening your core or abdominal muscles, and staying physically fit with regular aerobic exercise.

"multiple benefits for you and your back"

A program of exercises for back pain should include some level of aerobic activity. An appropriate level of work for your heart and lungs can provide multiple benefits for you and your back by helping to control your weight, making you feel better, and helping you sleep better.

Controlling your weight is an important part of any back pain treatment plan. Any abdominal fat that you carry just adds to the weight that is pulling forward on your lower back.

Aerobic exercise stimulates endorphins. These "feel good" hormones are produced by your brain, and are similar to morphine. They relieve pain and stress, and generally make you feel better about everything. If you have knee or hip pain low impact exercises such as pool exercises, using an elliptical machine, or bicycling may work better for you.

"These "feel good" hormones..."

An appropriate amount of exercise will also make you sleep better, and sleep is the natural time for your body to rest and repair. A good night of sleep will give your back time to recover from the daily wear and tear of living.

If you have a specific back injury to your upper, middle or lower back, your doctor may prescribe certain exercises, often under the guidance of a physical therapist. It is important to remember that the therapist can only provide instructions and guidance. You are the one that needs to do the work and perform your exercises for back pain.

"You are the one..."

These therapeutic back pain treatments may include specially designed movements to relieve a bulging disc, or stretching exercises to loosen tight ligaments, or training to improve your posture.

Whenever you are working to recover from a back injury, you should always listen carefully to your therapist's instructions and follow them as closely as possible.

"Listen to your therapist..."

Exercising too vigorously too early in your recovery may cause re-injury and slow your recovery. Exercising not vigorous enough, may slow or stall your progress. Listen to your therapist, they are specially trained and know how fast to proceed.



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