Those who grapple with back pain know how debilitating it can be. It is not just the limitations imposed on physical activity and discomfort that plagues your morning commute—it is something that negatively impacts every facet of your daily life. It reduces your quality of living, prevents you from fully enjoying activities you love, and otherwise detracts from your life experience.
While medical concerns are deeply personal and treatment varies on an individual basis, many back pain suffers can improve their condition by making simple lifestyle changes, including incorporating exercise. Whether you are a seasoned fitness fanatic or entirely new to the world of exercise, it is important to consult your doctor before implementing a new regimen if you have back pain.
With that being said, there are a handful of exceptional exercises that tend to address back pain and help not only reduce pain but also strengthen your back to prevent future issues. Check them out below.
Back pain is often correlated with tightness or weakness in other areas of the body. Performing exercises that focus on these potential issues can positively impact back health and reduce pain.
Two muscle groups that are often linked to back pain are the glutes and abdominals. Bridges are a fantastic exercise to shore up any weaknesses in these muscles and relieve back pain. Best of all, they can be performed in the comfort of your own home.
Bridges involve lying on your back with your feet flat against the floor and your knees bent. Keep your feet, shoulders, and upper back in contact with the ground as you raise your hips upward by squeezing your glutes and tightening your core. Hold the position as long as possible before returning to the ground in a controlled manner.
This modified push-up is excellent for strengthening the lower back. To perform it, simply lie on your stomach and place your hands beneath your shoulders. From this position, push until your shoulders lift from the ground. Your hips and legs should retain contact with the floor as your torse begins to elevate. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position in a controlled manner.
You can vary press-ups by progressing to holding the position by propping yourself up on your elbows. This allows you to remain in the upward position for a longer time.
This exercise can be used to gradually coerce your lower back into its proper curvature. Simply perform press-ups consistently until you can achieve full extension and range of motion without pain.
Continuing with the theme of excellent exercises for back pain that you can perform at home, wall sits can be done with no equipment—just you and a wall are needed to strengthen your core, back, and legs.
Stand around a foot away from your wall of choice. Simply lean back until your back is entirely flat against the wall before sliding down the wall, maintaining full contact throughout the entire motion. Once your knees are bent slightly, focus on pressing your lower back firmly against the wall.
Hold this squat-like position until it is challenging. Consider starting by counting to 10, then adding time as you improve. Once you’ve reached your count, slide back up the wall and repeat the process.
Back pain can be crippling, but there are steps you can take to take control of your health and your life. The exercises above will create a strong foundation on which you can build a healthier, pain-free back. Be sure to consult with your doctor to ensure that these and other exercises are safe for your unique circumstances, develop a more comprehensive fitness and stretching program, and address any underlying issues that may exist.