5 Exercises That Can Complement Treatment for Low Back Pain
Every year, millions of Americans seek treatment for low back pain. The reason that so many of them choose a chiropractor to handle that treatment for low back pain is because chiropractic doctors focus on resolving the underlying issue causing pain; chiropractors treat pain as a symptom, rather than treating pain directly with medications or invasive interventions.
But as chiropractors will tell you, there’s a lot you can do at home to reduce your low back pain as well. Much back pain is caused simply by low back strains and sprains, injuries that occur through overuse or acute trauma. But because these injuries have to do with weak and tight muscles, tendons and ligaments, rest will only help for a few days after the initial injury. That’s why physical rehab is important when it comes to getting long-term relief from low back pain. Your chiropractor can guide you more specifically based on your circumstances, but here are five general exercises that most people can use to reduce and prevent the recurrence of low back pain:
- Simple Hamstring Stretch
Tightness in the backs of the legs can actually lead to low back pain because it makes it difficult to keep your pelvis in a neutral position. Stretch out those hamstrings by standing on one leg, extending the other leg so the heel touches the floor in front of you, and leaning down.
- Lying Back Extensions
Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended, then try to lift your arms and legs off the floor at the same time. It’s important you feel this as a lengthening motion, rather than a crunching in the small of your back.
- The Eight-Point Plank
This version of a plank makes it easier for you to keep your tummy in and strengthen the muscles in your lower core. Start on your elbows and knees with your feet tucked under and your hands on the ground (so that the tips of your feet, your knees, your elbows, and your fingers are all touching the ground). Tighten your core and lift your hips to the height of your shoulders. Hold as long as you can, slowly building up your endurance day by day.
- Alternating Cat-Cow Poses
This exercise both strengthens and improves range of motion. Start on your hands and knees so that your back is parallel to the floor. Slowly round your back up toward the ceiling (like an angry cat), then reverse the motion so your lower back is arched.
- Kneeling Leg Extensions
Start in the same neutral hands-and-knees position as the previous exercise. While holding your core tight, extend one leg directly behind you in a slow, controlled motion. Return the leg to the floor, then repeat the motion on the other side.
What other exercises can complement treatment for low back pain? Discuss in the comments.