Back pain: Five exercises which can be performed at home to relieve lower back pain
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people see their GP and is a leading cause of disability worldwide. In fact, almost two out of three people have lower back pain at some point in their life. Many people take their backs for granted, until a twinge or sharp pain comes about and it negatively affects their day-to-day lives. But there are a few exercises that have been proven to help relieve most back pain.
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BUPA said: “Your back has many connected parts, including bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, nerves and tendons.
Your spine supports your back. It’s made up of 24 separate bones called vertebrae stacked on top of one another.
Below the vertebrae, at the bottom of your spine, are the bones in your sacrum and coccyx.
Between the vertebrae, diss act as shock absorbers and allow your spine to bend.”
Signs and symptoms of back can include muscle ache, shooting or stabbing pain, pain that radiates down the leg, pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing or walking or pain that improves with reclining.
Back pain is a major health issue in Western countries and 60 – 80 percent of adults are likely to experience lower back pain.
In a systematic review of the effects of exercise and physical activity on chronic low back pain, exercise and how it can help alleviate back pain was investigated.
The study noted: “It’s recommended for patients with back pain to remain physically active, as long periods of inactivity will adversely affect recovery.
“A variety of different types of exercise have been explored including low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise, high intensity aerobic exercise, core stabilisation and muscular strength exercise.”
When it comes to exercises to help with back pain, OnHealth says the following five at-home methods could help.
This classic core-strengthening workout is proven to help alleviate lower back pain.
Partial crunches build strength in both the lower back and related stomach muscles, making this an ideal exercise for people with spondylosis.
To do this exercise, lie back and keep the feet flat with the knees bent, with hands behind the head, raise the shoulders, hold this for one second and then repeat.
This exercise also helps to relieve pain in the back of the leg where some of the muscles that support the lower spine are found.
This stretch could be used with a towel or a fitness band.
To perform the hamstring stretch lie on your back with one knee bent, thread the towel beneath the ball of the foot on the unbent leg, pull back on the towel slowly, straightening the knee, hold the stretch for at least 15-30 seconds and repeat for each leg.
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This is an excellent exercise for anyone who suffers with lower back pain.
Stand with your back facing the wall at a distance of about 10 to 12 inches, carefully lean into the wall until the spine is flat against it, slide down the wall slowly until the knees are bent slightly and continue to press the lower back into the wall. Hold this position for a count of 10, then carefully slide back up the wall and repeat.
The bird dog is another great exercise to help ease lower back pain and is a great way to learn to stabilise the low back during movements of the arms and legs.
To start, get on your hands and knees, tighten the abdominal muscles, with one leg, lift and extend it behind you while keeping the hips level, hold that position for a full five seconds and then switch to the other leg, for each leg, repeat eight to 12 times. For each repetition, try lifting and extending the opposite are in front of you, don’t allow the lower back muscles to sag and stay in position.
Knee to chest
Another way to get the legs pumping as a treatment for low back pain symptoms. Lie on your back and put your feet flat on the floor and bend the knees, draw the right knee up to your chest keeping the left foot flat against the floor, hold for 15 – 30 seconds keeping the lower back flat on the floor, next lower the right knee and repeat the routine with the left leg, for each leg, perform knee-to-chest two to four times.
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