Lower back problems are one of the most painful injuries people suffer. A pinched nerve can radiate shooting pain down the legs, around the pelvic region or even up the back. Chronic lower back pain can be reduced with proper body mechanics, strengthening of the core muscles and improvements in flexibility.
Proper body mechanics can strengthen the lower back. Pick objects off the floor by keeping the weight on your legs, and be aware of your posture at all times.
Sit on top of an exercise ball daily. Balancing on a large exercise ball has been proved to strengthen the lower back and relieve back pain.
Flexible hamstrings and hips are essential to relieving back pain. Flexible muscles take stress off the lower back during movement.
A series of abdominal exercises can help relieve back pain. Be sure to work the lower abdominals, the oblique muscles and upper abdominal muscles, in that order.
The benefits of abdominal training can be accentuated by adding more core exercises to an exercise routine. Two exercises performed in physical therapy are the bridge and bird-dog.
The bridge is completed lying on your back with your feet about 6 inches away from your torso. Push your heels into the ground and squeeze the glutes, lifting the hips as high as possible (see photo).
The bird-dog is completed with hands and knees on the ground. Keeping the head down, reach one arm out in front of you as far as possible. At the same time that the arm reaches forward, reach the opposite back leg backward (see photo).
- Photo Credit Bridge; photos by Lisa Lauer
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