Back pain is as common as the flu. About 80 percent of Americans complain of back pain. At any given point in your life, you may experience a sharp twitch in your back. Get the help you need, sooner rather than later; it’s the best way to get back to your normal day-to-day life.
Whether you choose a non-surgical treatment, need more extensive surgery or just want to avoid back pain altogether, back muscle exercises keep your spine pliable. The physical therapists at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) are always available to show you exercises to strengthen your back muscles. And proper exercise technique helps you avoid hurting your back.
Causes of Back Pain
Although there are many causes of back pain, the most common is lifestyle habits. A sedentary lifestyle is the number one reason the proper alignment of your spine is out of whack. Additional body weight is another reason. Under tension, your spine muscles buckle, leaving you with a severe case of back pain.
Immediate medical care is essential to alleviating the pain. Your doctors at SSI are experts in assessing the seriousness of your back pain. Once they’ve taken a complete medical history, they’ll give you sound advice about which treatments you need. Non-surgical procedures coupled with back muscle exercises are often recommended.
Slow and Easy to Start
Even though everyone knows that exercise is essential for good health, only one in three Americans exercise every week. This lethargy seeps into the back muscles over the years, making them prone to aches and pains at the slightest movement. If you’re not active, take extra care not to exert your spine. Start exercising slowly, building on the strength you have.
Several back muscle exercises and stretches to do under the supervision of your SSI physical therapy specialist include:
- Knee to chest. Lie flat on the ground on your back and slowly bring your knees toward your chest. Hold for a few seconds before slowly lowering your legs.
- Pelvic tilt. Lie on your back, bend your knees and slowly pull your abdominal muscles inward. Hold for a few seconds and release.
- Hamstring stretches. Lie down or sit in a chair. Slowly flex your ankle, bringing your toes upward.
- Bridging. Lie on your back with knees bent. Slowly lift your hips above the ground, hold and then lower your body.
Besides the above exercises, swimming, water aerobics, yoga and Pilates are ideal back muscle exercises. Ask your doctor how soon you can start if you just had a medical back treatment. If these aren’t possible right away, then walking is the best and easiest way to get back in shape.
Don’t Bend It Like That!
Exercise is good, but doing it the wrong way creates more back problems. Avoid sudden movements like lunging forward, bending or reaching, as you can pull your back muscles. Exercises to avoid, especially if you just had a back procedure, include:
- Touching your toes
- Doing sit-ups
- Lifting weights
- Doing leg lifts
These exercises put additional strain on your back. Your spine doctors at SSI can explain in detail what you need to do after your back treatment and which back muscle exercises are acceptable for complete recovery and continued back health.