Why is lower back pain so common?
Lower back problems result from a variety of factors. It isn’t possible to point to one specific cause.
Unsurprisingly, it is partly the result of us living more sedentary lifestyles. We are less active than in previous generations. And some issues are anatomical.
But lower back problems aren’t just a result of poor posture. Likewise, the fact we sit around so much more doesn’t tell the full story.
Increasingly, experts are realizing that the psychological and social aspects also play a role. You may well have experienced back pain when you were stressed out at work. Or when the kids started playing up.
Whatever the cause, one thing is clear. Stopping all forms of movement is not the answer. In fact, the complete opposite is true. In most cases, exercise and movement are a great way to counteract the problem.
A new way of looking at treating the back
There was a time when rest, pills and in some cases, surgery were seen as the answer. But, over time, the role of non-invasive treatments has gained credibility.
In fact, this recent paper from the American College of Physicians positively encourages them.
Furthermore, exercise is strongly recommended for chronic lower back pain in particular. It can help in three main ways. It can help address muscle weakness and a lack of flexibility in the lower back. Also, exercise can help reduce the intensity of the pain. And importantly, it can help to rid you of some of your fears and concerns regarding back pain issues.
So, let’s look at some particular exercises that can help.
Lower back problems – exercises that can help
The key is to get the back moving and operating again. Providing you don’t have any serious structural damage there are some great little exercises to get you started. Try these for starters.
Pelvic tilts – Lie on your back. Knees in a bent position. Pull your belly button in towards your spine. Tilt the pelvis forward and hold for 5 seconds. This can be repeated a few times in a row to help mobilize the lower spine.
Knee rolls – Lying on your back. Bending the knees so the knees are off the ground. Keeping as much of the back on the floor as possible. Rotate the knees toward the floor on one side. Then gently swing the knees over to the other side. And repeat this movement a handful of times.
Press up back extensions – Lying face down. Simply use your forearms to push off the ground. The idea is to lift the head and shoulders up and create an extension of the spine.
Bird dog – This is a bodyweight floor exercise that helps to strengthen the lower back and firm the abdominals. Starting on your hands and knees, keeping the back aligned, extend one leg and the opposite arm. Then do the same for the other leg and arm. And repeat several times.
Supermans – This is similar to the bird dog exercise. However, on this occasion, you lay face down and flat on the floor. This requires more of a lifting motion and is good for strengthening the lower back.
A final word
There are of course many other exercises and stretches that can help. To learn more about how to overcome lower back problems, please contact us at Perea Clinic. We are happy to help.