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The Best Exercises You Can Do If You Have Back Problems

Back problems are a pain. Both literally and figuratively. For those with back pain, there’s a fine line between exercising the back muscles and pulling them. Use these exercises to strengthen back muscles and minimize pain.

Swimming

A pilates move to mimic swimming in a pool strengthens back muscles, according to Prevention. As the name suggests, when performing this exercise you’ll look like a swimmer out of water. Maintaining a long spine and contracting the abs is important to support the back throughout the exercise. Also, focus on the length of arms and legs and not the height.

Hint: This old form of exercise still works wonders.

Yoga

Yoga can be very beneficial to those suffering from back pain. Yoga is helpful to those with other ailments too. “The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome,” Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor, told the American Osteopathic Association. “Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia,” Nevins’ added.

Hint: Stretch, stretch, and stretch some more.

Child’s pose stretch

One yoga pose in particular, child’s pose, is useful to those with back pain. The pose, a variation of lying down on one’s stomach, gently stretches the muscles in the lower back, Prevention says. For those who are new to yoga, child’s pose is a good place to start. The move is simple and provides a good stretch.

Hint: Mimic animals’ movements with this stretch. 

Cat/cow pose

Another yoga pose for back pain sufferers is the cat/cow pose. On all fours, the back is convex and concave to mimic a cat and a cow. While the move may feel silly, back muscles are being stretched to release tension. The pose moves the back muscles in two different direction, according to Prevention. That way, back muscles are targeted from all angles.

Hint: Decompress your spine with this move.

Twists

Twists are one of the best yoga moves to promote a strong and flexible spine, Yoga Journal says. For those with back pain and for those who spend their days sitting down, twists can be very beneficial. “Twisting has the potential to help decompress the discs and elongate the spine, opening the spaces between the vertebrae, activating the muscles around the discs, and increasing blood flow to the spinal area to deliver pain-fighting, healing, anti-inflammatory oxygen.”

Hint: Reduce stress with this no-equipment technique.

Practice breathing

Stress may be a contributing factor to back pain. “When I’m going through a busy time at work or a stressful time with family, my back hurts,” Jane Jones told Health. For that reason, breathing exercises to reduce stress may, in turn, help reduce muscle tension. Spend a few minutes taking slow, deep breaths to calm nerves.

Hint: Don’t like yoga? Try this instead.

Pilates

Pilates “consists of low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movements,” the Mayo Clinicsays. While the name may sound intimidating, pilates is helpful to those with back pain. The only equipment needed to do pilates is a mat. Beginners, start slow and work up to more difficult moves.

Hint: Pilates is great for those with back pain.

Benefits of pilates

Pilates is great for back pain because the exercises used in pilates target functionality and strength. The benefits of pilates include “improved core strength and stability, improved posture and balance, improved flexibility, and prevention and treatment of back pain,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Having core strength helps reduce back pain by reducing strain on the lower pack. A stronger core will ensure the back muscles don’t have to work as hard. Flexibility will help with daily activities making it harder for one to pull their back out.

Hint: Do small moves to lengthen spine.

Pelvic tilt to pelvic curl

A pelvic tilt to a pelvic curl is similar to a bridge. As with all exercises, form is crucial. Lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat to the floor, lift your pelvis then bring it back down to the floor, Very Well says. This sequence “teaches us to use our abdominal muscles in a way that supports and lengthens the lower back.”

Hint: Be a swan.

Swan prep

This move “strengthens the back extensors, the muscles the [that] hold us upright,” according to Very Well. “These muscles are often weak and over-stretched in people who have back pain.” With arms tucked close to the body, lying face down on the mat, life your chest up, lengthening your spine. While the move may not be big movement, swan prep is effective.

Hint: Perform a plank.

Plank benefits for back

Working the body’s core has tons of benefits. “Planks train the muscles of your abdomen to activate so they support your posture and share in the burden of holding you upright; your back muscles no longer have to do all the work,” LiveStrong says. Not only do planks help in everyday activities, they can alleviate back pain. Put the painkillers aside and perform a plank.

Hint: Work your entire body.

Forearm plank

Dubbed the “ultimate core move” by Prevention, the forearm plank works the core, the midsection, arms, butt, legs…pretty much the entire body. Form is key to performing a plank and reaping the benefits. Keep the body in a straight line and in no time your body will be shaking, working to maintain its position. To track your progress, write down how long you hold a plank and review your stats weekly.

Hint: Do 30 seconds of this move to start.

Side plank

Planks are God’s gift to people with low back pain, Dr. Jordan Metzl writes. In his NBC News article, Metzl recommends performing three minutes of plank exercises a day. He suggests doing one minute in a traditional plank and one minute on each side. If a side plank with both feet stacked on top of one another is too difficult, lower one leg to support yourself.

Hint: Hit the pavement.

Walk

Go for a leisurely walk in your neighborhood or at a local park. If the weather conditions won’t allow for outdoor activity, walk indoors. As mentioned earlier, moving more is good. Not moving is bad. “People with chronic lower back pain who do not regularly engage in aerobic exercise are more likely to be limited in their functionality,” Andrew Moeller of Spine-Health writes. Not only does walking help you stay functional but the movement releases endorphins.

Hint: The general impact of exercise on your back.

Overall? Move more

Bed rest for back pain isn’t the best course of action, according to Harvard Medical School. “To get the most from staying in bed, limit the time you are lying down to a few hours at a stretch, and for no longer than a day or two.” With more knowledge about back pain, doctors don’t suggest strict bed rest for back pain. Instead, they suggest the opposite. “We know now that staying in strict bed rest can actually exacerbate pain, so we essentially tell patients to take it easy and move as much as tolerated,” Jeffrey Goldstein, MD, Director of the Spine Service at the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, told Health.

SOURCE: https://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/best-exercises-if-you-have-back-problems.html/?a=viewall


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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