Exercises for back pain

The exercises for back pain play a fundamental role in the treatment of back pain. Scientific research demonstrates the usefulness of stretching exercises and exercises for muscle strengthening.

It is not enough to strengthen the back muscles; also with the abdominal, gluteal, hip and neck muscles (neck) must be worked.

For example, in the doctor’s office you often see very stiff people who cannot reach the buttocks with their heels. This is the result of lack of exercise.
A regular program of back exercises eliminates stiffness and muscle weakness and also prevents the frequency and intensity of lumbar pain recurrences (or sciatica).
A strong back can endure more weight and more loads on the spine. In addition, it helps to achieve a correct posture.
Exercises for the treatment of low back pain and sciatic nerve pain (sciatica) are the exercises after “McKenzie”, which owe their name to the inventor of the McKenzie method.
Primarily extensor movements are performed, but exercises for rotation and flexion of the spine can also be useful.

Corrective gymnastics is very helpful for scoliosis or a hunchback. However, it is important to perform special exercises depending on the disorder.

It is advisable to visit a gym and be accompanied by a personal trainer or an experienced physiotherapist. But you can also do effective free exercises or exercises with a stick at home.
A gymnastic exercise for back pain should not cause pain. If symptoms occur initially, it may be due to the lack of training.
If the pain persists, this exercise must be stopped and continued with other exercises.
If they are followed correctly, pull-ups and strengthening of the pectoral muscles on the flat bench are not harmful to the back.
On the other hand, you should avoid the leg press and squats, which overuse the muscles and spine.
The bicycle is helpful, but in an acute phase it can cause discomfort. A horizontal exercise bike is better.


Recommended exercises for acute back pain

Starting position: Start in the prone position on a mat on the ground or on a hard surface.
Place the legs in shoulder width, the muscles of the thighs and buttocks are relaxed.
The arms are in the position for the push-up.

Implementation: Push shoulders upwards by the force of the arms, if possible stretch the elbows.
The pelvis must remain in contact with the base.

This exercise is excellent for the prevention or treatment of sciatica, cruralgia and dic hernia L4-L5 or L5-S1.

Stretching exercise based on the elbows

Starting position: Lying on a mat on the ground or on a hard bed in the prone position.
The feet must rest shoulder width, the muscles of the thighs and buttocks are relaxed.
The elbows must be placed at right angles (90°) and the hands are relaxed or lying with the palms down.
Keep the shoulders raised from the floor, the pelvis remains on the surface.

Hold this position for 3-5 minutes.

This is a preventive exercise that can cause pain. It should therefore be discontinued if there is pain in the lower back.

Isometric abdominal exercises

Starting position: Lying with your stomach down (prone position), place your palms on the floor at shoulder level.
Bend the toes to the instep of the foot so that all body weight is on the hands and toes.
Push buttocks upwards, lift belly off the floor.
After that, the weight of the shoulders must be shifted to the elbows.
Keep your back straight and do not let your stomach sink.

Performing: This exercise is performed in the prone position with the stomach raised, the entire body weight is on toes and elbows to strengthen the abdominal muscles.

Variant: You can shift the weight to just one leg, one foot is supported on the other.
This exercise can be done during an acute period of back pain. It is preferable to the classic one (described above).

Stretching exercise while standing

Starting position: Stand upright, feet up shoulder width. Keep knees stretched. Place your hands behind your back.

Procedure: Turn the back backwards, bringing the stomach forward, while the shoulders are taken back.
The knees must be as straight as possible.
Once the limit is reached, slowly return to the starting position.

Excellent exercise for patients over 60 years of age with intense pain. You can also do the exercise at home or at work.

Exercises for current back pain and prevention

The Bridge

Lie on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor.

Shoulders and head remain on the floor while hips are raised until shoulders and knees form a straight line.

Hold this position for three deep breaths.
Return to the starting position.

Repetitions: You start with 5 repetitions per day to gradually reach up to 30.

There are no contraindications to this exercise, even in painful phases.

Stretching when turning the back while sitting

Starting position: Start sitting on the mat, legs stretched out in front of the body.
Bend your left knee and place it over your right thigh, then bend your right knee (you can also keep your right knee stretched if necessary).
Place the right elbow on the outside of the left knee, then place the left hand on the floor behind the left shoulder
This stretching exercise improves back rotation in the chest and lumbar area.
Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, breathing deeply, then return to the starting position.
Change sides and repeat the same stretching exercise.

This exercise serves to stretch the lower, central and upper back muscles and the external rotators of the hip (especially the piriformis).
You can also do it if you have low back pain.

Stretching of hip flexors

Kneel on the mat. Place the right leg in front of the body so that the knee is above the ankle.
The left leg remains on the floor behind the body.
Keep the back in an upright position, push the pelvis slightly forward until a slight pull is felt in the front of the left hip. Do not stretch the knee.
Contract the left gluteal muscle to reinforce the pull and/or move the left knee even further back.
Make sure to keep your back upright.

Hold this position for more than 30 seconds.
Switch and repeat pages.

This exercise is very helpful for everyone, both in acute phases and for prevention.

Exercises to be performed only for prevention

Starting position: Stand upright, arms stretched out at the sides.

Procedure: Bend the trunk to one side, lowering the shoulder, the hand goes down along the outside of the thigh and should reach below knee height.
As soon as you reach the limit, slowly straighten up again.

You can also stay in this position for 30 seconds to intensify the stretching.
Repeat on the other side.

Exercises for the abdominal muscles with the fitness ball

Starting position: Lying in a supine position on a floor mat or on a fitness ball (air-filled ball with a diameter of 65 cm), the legs are bent.
The hands must be behind the head.

The exercise consists of lifting the head and shoulders from the floor, but under no circumstances should the back be raised.

Exhale (exhale air) during exercise and inhale when going back to the starting position.

This exercise is only for the prevention of back pain. It should be avoided at all costs if you suffer from back pain or inflammation of the sciatic nerve.

Stretching of thigh flexors, back muscles and hip twisters

Starting position: Sitting on the floor, legs spread and knees stretched. Bend left knee and get as close to the ground as possible.

Then tighten the toes of the right foot and bend the back over the right leg, trying to grasp the tips of the toes with both hands.

Hold this position for 30-60 seconds and repeat on the other side.

This exercise stretches the posterior muscles of the thigh and the right back and also allows stretching of the inner rotating muscles of the hip.

Useful for prevention and muscle maintenance, do not perform during periods of acute low back pain.

Back strengthening with the fitness ball

Starting position: Lying on the fitness ball in a prone position and holding your hands behind your head.
The feet are shoulder-width width on the ground.

Implementation: Raise shoulders and head as much as possible.

If a limit is reached, slowly return to the starting position.

As a rule, this is not painful, but you have to be careful with acute lumbalgia.

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