Your back muscles are involved in every move you make. This complex system helps your body twist, turn, bend, extend and supports your spine with daily activities.
Doing exercises to strengthen the lower back can help alleviate and prevent lower back pain. It can also strengthen the core, leg, and arm muscles.
Weakness, imbalance or tightness in the muscles that support the spine can make it more challenging to support the spine during daily activities.
Below are the best ways to help you build core muscles to protect your spine and prevent back pain.
Pool walking is a low-impact way to build core muscles. As you move, the core works against the force of the water. This is gentle on extremities such as knees, hips, ankles and feet.
Exercise videos, classes or personal trainer will help you understand how to use an exercise ball appropriately. These exercises are deceptively simple, and with practice you can increase intensity gradually.
A popular core booster is the side plank. To do it, lie on your right side with your right hand on the ground. Beginners should use your elbow. Lift yourself up to form a plank with your right arm straight and left arm at your side. Hold the position, then repeat. Be sure to keep your body in a straight line while tightening the abs and posterior.
Disciplines like Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates help target core muscles. Choose relaxation yoga for lower impact. Pilates is centered around building core strength and improving posture. Tai Chi is a form of exercise that has recently been gaining popularity as a way to relieve or manage back pain and neck pain.
Massage can reduce discomfort and get you back on your feet faster.
Both structural massage (also called trigger point or structural integration massage) and Swedish massage have been proven to provide up to 6 months of relief from low back pain.
Deep tissue massage is also helpful. Unlike other massage techniques that focus on relaxation, deep tissue massage helps to treat muscle pain and improve stiffness. But it can still help to you unwind mentally, too. A number of studies found that deep tissue massage helped to reduce pain in people with chronic low back.
No matter what you do, the key is to find an activity appropriate for your body — one that you’ll enjoy and stick with so you can continue to build a strong, healthy back.
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