An excruciatingly painful lower back can be paralyzing. The discomfort you feel prevents you from doing your normal daily function. This can affect productivity and may even cause you to be absent from work.
Low back pain can affect any person of any age. You’re prone to low back pain if you’re exposed or have the following risk factors:
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At times, you can blame your low back pain to your genes. Ample evidence reveals that degenerative disc diseases can be inherited.
Like any other body mechanisms, the bones go through wear and tear. As a person advances in age, their bone mass slowly declines, particularly when they hit the thirties. Most people who suffer from disc-related issues are aged 30 to 60 while pain caused by osteoarthritis is common to individuals from age 60 onwards.
Some occupations can put a strain on your back or may even cause back injury. These include those jobs that need frequent bending and lifting such as working in the construction or the packaging industry. The jobs that require standing longer hours like those of salesladies and security guards can also lead to low back issues as well as desk jobs that require sitting for long periods without back support.
Lack of physical exercise
Being sedentary is another risk factor for low back pain. This is because immobility can weaken the lower back muscles and create stiffness. Physical activity can bring nourishment to spinal discs, ligaments, and tissues on your back.
Excess weight can put extra stress on your back and joints, which increases the risk of damage to the spinal discs and other structures.
While slouching over your computer keyboard can’t cause immediate back pain issues, the ill effects will come when you do it long term.
Studies show that there’s a link between smoking and lower back issues. Smoking can reduce the circulation, which prevents the proper distribution of nourishment to the muscles and joints.
Low back pain is common for people diagnosed with anxiety and other mood disorders. Health experts even say that back pain is a common symptom of these emotional issues.
Women in gestation suffer from low back pain due to the excess weight they carry in front of them. Also, the ligaments in their pelvic area start to loosen up to prepare their bodies for delivery.
While some of the above risk factors are beyond your control, there are ways you can do to prevent or reduce their effects. One of the most effective ways is to strengthen your back. A healthy and strong back is essential to perform daily tasks like walking, running, and others.
The following exercises can give you a strong back and prevent the likelihood of low back pain and other back injuries.
You may not be a yoga fan, but it may be time to start doing the practice to save your back from possible pain or injuries. Yoga poses are free and don’t require expensive equipment. They can be done at home or anywhere. Searching these poses on the internet gives you an overview of how they can be done correctly. Lots of yoga tutorials are also available online. Thus, it can be easier for you to say bye, bye back pain. But if you have a yogi friend, seeking their help can also be a good idea.
The yoga poses that strengthen back include:
1. Cobra Pose
A cobra pose is a simple exercise that works great in preventing herniated disc injury, which is a common cause for back pain. This exercise stretches the lower back and strengthens it.
Bridges have lots of variations depending on your capability. The direct effect of this pose can be felt in the glutes. You need a strong glute to support the lower back and provide it with less work in supporting the upper body. Bridges also strengthen the large muscles in the back and can help in preventing herniated disc problems.
Planks offer amazing benefits to the body. They’re most effective at strengthening the core, which is crucial in supporting the lower back. Planks also stabilize the spine, preventing the risk of spinal injuries and other lower back problems. If you’re a beginner, you can start holding planks for about 10 counts. Increase the count as you progress until you can hold the pose for several minutes.
4. Knee to chest stretches
These poses help elongate the lower back, relieve tension in this area, and also reduce pain. Knee to chest is a range of motion exercise, which not only increase joint flexibility but also reduce stiffness caused by spinal arthritis. Physical therapist Hagit Rajter stresses that range of motion exercises are most important for people suffering from osteoarthritis because they help increase the blood supply and flow of nourishment in this area.
5. Lying lateral leg lifts
This exercise improves the hip abductor muscles, which support the pelvis. A strong pelvis help reduce strain on the back while maintaining a person’s balance and mobility.
6. Standing extension
Standing extension helps in stretching the back and strengthening the muscles in this area. This is also a good exercise when you want to improve your posture and reduce the tendency to slouch or hunch back.
7. Lower back rotational stretches
While this exercise helps strengthen the core, it is also a good exercise that can relieve muscle tension in the lower back and trunk. Lower back rotational stretches also help improve balance.
8. Pelvic tilts
Having strong abdominal muscles is one key ingredient to prevent lower back issues. Pelvic tilts are the most effective exercises for achieving strong abdominal muscles. These exercises also stretch the lower back muscles and tighten the glutes and hip muscles.
9. Trunk rotation stretch
This exercise helps to relax the muscles on the sides of the trunk and improves spine mobility.
Superman works the back and lower-back muscles, strengthening and defining them while improving posture at the same time.
11. Child’s pose
This stretch is the simplest of all the lower back exercises. All you have to do is bring yourself on all fours and sit your hips back while extending your arms forward until you feel a mild stretch down your back. This relaxes your body while improving spine mobility.