3 Exercises To Help Alleviate Back Pain

Back Stretches St. Paul PainOutside of the common cold, more Americans head to their local clinic with problematic back pain than for any other health condition. In fact, back pain affects between 80 and 90 percent of people at some point in their lives.

The issue with back pain is that we do so much to make the condition worse. We sit on our butts too often. We have poor posture. We’re always hunched over on our phones. All of these things can contribute to back problems, but the good news is we can fight back. One of the best ways to combat back pain is through regular exercise and strength training. Here’s a quick look at three exercises you can preform to help prevent and counter back pain.

Blast Away Back Pain

Here are three exercises you can do in the comfort of your home to help prevent back pain.

1. Supermans – For this exercise, you’ll start by lying on your stomach with your arms positioned directly in front of you. When you’re ready, lift your arms and your legs off the ground as if you are flying through the air like Superman. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds, then relax. Repeat this process until you’ve completed 10-20 Superman exercises. This is helpful for people suffering from low back pain.

2. Knee Hugs – Once you’re done with Supermans, roll over on your back for the next exercise. For this one, lie on your back with both your legs straight ahead of you. Bring one knee up to your chest and hug it for 10 seconds. You’ll naturally notice that the small of your back will be pressed into the floor. This will help strengthen your back muscles and keep it loose. Repeat the exercise five times with each leg.

3. Bridges – For the last exercise, remain lying on the ground on your back. Instead of placing your feet straight forward, bend your knees and position your feet flat on the ground near your buttock. When ready, thrust your pelvis forward, creating a diagonally straight line from your knees down to your shoulder blades. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then bring your butt back to the ground. Repeat this exercise 5-10 times. When done correctly, you’ll feel this exercise strengthening and loosening your upper back.

Chronic Pain: The Benefits of Exercise

Chronic pain is tough to deal with, and oftentimes it can seem like and endless cycle of pain, medications, and failed treatments. Since your chronic pain can be caused by hundreds of different issues, pinpointing the problem is key, and what works for some may not work for others. But one thing that most pain management specialists agree on is that exercise is beneficial for treating chronic pain.

Now you might be saying, “How is running going to make my chronic back pain any better? Staying still is pailful, moving is only going to make it worse!” We’re not saying you need to get off the couch and run 10 miles, but moderate exercise has been shown to lessen chronic pain symptoms. Just check out this study. As individuals exercised, their pain tolerance increased. While they still felt similar amounts of pain, their ability to cope with it improved.

Chronic pain exercise

Another reason exercise is beneficial is because it kickstarts your body’s release of endorphins. These endorphins help decrease discomfort during a workout, and their effects can linger after your exercise is complete. This process is known as “exercise-induced hypoalgesia.”

Regular Exercise

As I mentioned in my post “Practicing What You Preach,” I suffer from spondylolisthesis that affects the nerves in my back. I suffer back pain from time to time, but I know the best way to control it. Time and time again the best way to keep back pain from slowing me down is to incorporate aerobic exercises into my daily routine. It’s gotten to the point where my back aches if I don’t find time to exercise.

Stretching and exercise can alleviate chronic pain problems, so it’s important to find a workout that works for you. I can no longer run or jog, but I’ve found that long walks or a half hour on the elliptical works wonders. I pair the workout with anti-inflammatories, but I know there is no magic pill that will cure my pain without me putting in effort. Just like diet pills, you can’t lose weight simply by popping a pill, you need to pair it with nutrition and exercise.

There are a lot of reasons to avoid exercise, especially if you have chronic pain; you’re in too much pain, you don’t know what exercises to do, you don’t have the right equipment or you simply find it easier to stay seated. If you are truly interested in alleviating chronic pain, it starts with taking care of your body. Modern medicine is great, but it’s only one prong of the multifaceted approach. You can’t always cure chronic pain, but with exercise, you can help control it.