4 Back Pain Relief Exercises (and 3 to Avoid)

1 November 2020

Fitness

If you suffer with a bad back, there are certain stretches and exercises that will help you to alleviate your symptoms. There are also some that will likely make your symptoms a lot worse. Today, we’re going to look at a few from each camp, showing you what to do and what to avoid in your training.

Exercises to help lower back pain

1. Glute bridges

Glute bridges work the gluteus maximus, which is the large muscle of the buttocks. These muscles are engaged when people move their hips- for instance, when they stand up or sit down. The glutes are a major support for the posterior chain, which involves the back. Keeping them strong can help to support the lower back, thus decreasing pain from underlying muscular weakness.

2. Lying lateral leg raises

Now we’re moving onto the hip abductor muscles with lying lateral raises. The abductors support the pelvis; strengthening them will have a similar strain reduction effect on the lower back as strengthening the glutes. Both exercises will allow for better posture.

3. Cat/cow stretches

Cat/cow is a traditional yoga stretch that can help to lengthen the back, decompress the spine and bring mobility, fluidity and improved blood flow to the spinal erectors and lower back muscles. The movements involved represent one of the greatest back pain relief exercises going.

4. Partial crunches

Partial stomach crunches will build strength through your abdominal muscles and your lower back. It’s good for anybody looking to improve their posture, and those whose back pain is a result of conditions like spondylosis.

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Exercises to avoid with lower back pain

1. Toe touches

Toe touches can loosen the back and decompress the spine. However, they can also aggravate sciatica and overstress ligaments and joints whilst overstretching the hamstrings and lower back muscles.

2. Sit-ups

Sit-ups don’t work. People think they give trainees strong abs. They don’t. People will usually use their hip and lower back muscles more than their abs. Sit-ups also put pressure on the spinal disks, which can exacerbate or lead to lower back injuries. Try crunches instead, as detailed above.

3. Lying leg lifts

Lying leg lifts can actually be pretty good for the lower abdominals, which play a role in back health, as mentioned above. However, performing leg lifts whilst lying on your back puts unnecessary stress on the lower back.

Training can go a long way towards reducing or even eradicating back pain. However, you need to train correctly: stick to the exercises that will actually help and stay well away from those that will only make matter worse.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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