8 Exercises to help aid lower back pain
“Exercises that have your back”
It’s hard to know what exercises are good or bad for your low back pain, especially when you are just getting back into exercise after some time off! In this article we will go through some simple strategies to help with your lower back pain.
1. Glute complex strength
Glute complex strength is an important factor in low back pain, being that it links between the lower leg and the back. If these muscles aren’t working well together or not routinely exercised with prolonged sitting, they can become tight and dysfunctional. This puts more stress and dysfunction through other areas of the body such as knees and lower back.
- A simple exercise to start getting some good control is side lying leg raises. Ensuring you’re are feeling it through your glute region there are three positions that may feel more comfortable to you.
2. Core strength
Core strength is number two on the list as it helps take pressure off your back by creating stability through your torso. Exercises that help create this kind of stability include slow movements over time to increase the intensity of the exercise.
- Wounded bug
- 4-point stance
3. Back stretches
Back stretches are great to get some relief from a stiff and tired back. 20-30 sec holds a few times each side have been shown to have benefit on keeping the muscles in the area loose and get the blood flowing into the muscle fibres.
4. Foam Rolling
Foam Rolling has become very popular over the past decade, but a lot of people aren’t 100% sure they are doing it right!
- Best way to approach foam rolling is first deciding what you are using it for.
- Warming up – foam rolling up and down starting at the calves, and moving up the leg to your glute region. Generally, 8 rolls up and down just to get the blood flowing.
- It is however very important to ensure you are not rolling straight over your lower back (the part where there is no ribs) as this can put extra pressure over the back of your spine.
- Warming down – with a foam roller is a great way to help move any lactic build up in the muscles. Generally, 30s on each area is a good start followed by a few static stretches as mentioned above to help reduce your post work out soreness.
TheraBand’s are a really good tool to use once you can do the un banded version of the exercise you wish to do.
- A couple of exercises that are great to include in your work out to help prevent lower back pain and drive that glute control are:
- Crab walks
- Good mornings
6. Gym/Exercise Physiologist
Gym – It is a good idea to get a university qualified Exercise Physiologist to write a specific program for your needs. They will also go through the technique and exercises with you. This helps ensure safe and correct posture is used to help reduce not only injury but increase activation of the muscles!
Pilates can be a great way to improve your stability and strength without a high impact style training load such as traditional gym style sessions!
- KAYA Health Clubs is a local mind and body health club in Melbourne (Prahran & Emporium) that offers its members access to over 330 Pilates, Yoga
, Barre, Boxing & Fitness Circuit classes.
Yoga is great to help with mobility and depending on the style of yoga that you are doing help reduce stress that gets built up in your body through day to day work or activities. A great example is when you are sitting at a desk for 7-8 hours a day at work. Of course, it is important to make time to get up with in those hours you are sitting at the desk but a great way to help further release the tension that is built up over the day is by including a session or 2 in your week to help keep those hip flexors at the front of your hip nice and loose, so they don’t pull on your lower back.
As always you have or are experience back pain you should consult your health care professional before partaking in any exercise routine!
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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4713798/ – glute muscle strengthening exercise and lumbar stabilization exercise on lumbar muscle strength and balance in chronic low back pain patients
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4395677/ – Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain
https://www.prevention.com/fitness/5-stretches-to-ease-your-lower-back-pain/slide/4 – 5 Stretches To Ease Your Lower-Back Pain
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4637917/ – THE EFFECTS OF SELF‐MYOFASCIAL RELEASE USING A FOAM ROLL OR ROLLER MASSAGER ON JOINT RANGE OF MOTION, MUSCLE RECOVERY, AND PERFORMANCE: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/comparison-of-elastic-resistance-band-exercises-and-yoga-in-physiotherapy-students-with-chronic-nonspecific-low-back-pain-a-randomized-clinical-trial-2157-7595.1000180.php?aid=37794 – Comparison of Elastic Resistance Band Exercises and Yoga in Physiotherapy Students with Chronic Non-Specific Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial
https://www.aafp.org/patient-care/clinical-recommendations/all/back-pain.html -Clinical Practice Guideline Low Back Pain
Dr Teghan Butler is a graduate of RMIT where she completed 5 years of study including a Bachelor and Masters degree in Chiropractic. Teghan has a strong interest in sport science and clinical rehabilitation and is currently finishing her Bachelor of Exercise Science in clinical rehabilitation at Victoria University.