Whether it was caused by lifting heavy weights at the gym, sitting too long on your office chair, or sleeping oddly on a dodgy mattress, sometimes back pain is unavoidable – especially if you’re at an older age. It can often become really frustrating if your pain doesn’t seem to be shifting, but there are actually workouts you can be doing at home to smooth out the nooks and crannies in your back muscles.
Although working out too strenuously can make your injury worse, science does tell us that exercise increases blood flow to the lower back area, reducing the tight stiffness and speeding up the healing process.
However, always be careful as certain forms of exercise can make it even worse. Here’s our guide to the best exercises and stretches you should be doing if the common back pain is a problem for you.
To perform a bridge, lie on a flat surface and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor with your arms by your side. Raise your buttocks off the ground until your lower body and torso form a straight line. Squeeze and engage your buttocks are firm as you can. Because the gluteus maximus is one of the most hard-working muscles in the body, strengthening the buttock muscles can play an important role in dealing with lower back pain too.
To perform a superman, lie on the ground and stretch both arms out in front of you. Next, raise both your hands and feet around 6 inches off the floor. Ensure you engage the core belly muscles, and keep your head straight to avoid neck injury. Your back’s extensor muscles on either side of the spine help maintain a good posture and strengthen your ability to lift. Superman stretches are a great way to work these muscles.
This one you’ll be doing exactly what it says on the tin – stretching like a cat does. This will help ease the tension in your back muscles and even lengthen your back if incorporated into a long-term regime. To perform a cat stretch, get on your hands and knees with your knees a hip-length apart from each other. Next, arch your back as tall as you can, engaging your core and pulling your abdomen up towards the spine. Then slowly relax the muscles and allow your back to drop back down.
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Swimming or water aerobics is considered one of the best ways for you to keep exercising when suffering from back pain. The low-impact buoyancy of the water allows the muscles to keep working, but comfortably with little pain.
Not only is it a great form of cardio, but performing a workout on the stationary gym bike is a great way to help keep your lower back pain under control. Because the core, back, hip and leg muscle groups all work together, cycling on a smooth and stable bicycle can keep them working and strengthening.
Although getting back pain is common, it is vital that you pay close attention to the injury you have. Seek medical advice if the pain gets increasingly worse. However, exercising frequently is important for preventing such pain, and trying these simple exercises can seriously help towards recovery.