HOW TO KEEP YOUR LOWER BACK STRONG AND HEALTHY
Low back pain is becoming more and more prevalent, and if you’re reading this you’re likely in the majority (approximately 80% of people) that either has had or will at some point experience back pain at some point. The easiest way to address back pain is to keep it from happening in the first place, and one of the best ways to do this is to keep joints and tissue happy by moving well, and moving often (more than 50% of those with back pain spend the majority of the day sitting).
The problem with current treatments for the low back is that it is assumed that the low back is the problem. In those with low back pain, the low back is often overworked and irritated from other body parts not working as they are designed to. That is why it is so important to assess and address other areas to treat the actual cause of dysfunction to decrease pain and prevent the same problem from happening again.
So how do we shift from a passive and reactive approach to an active and proactive approach? Movement (better movement AND more movement), strength, and mobility in the right places is a recipe for success.
WHERE TO START
Here are a few of our favorites to get started at for any activity level:
As mentioned above, the low back itself is rarely the problem. Tightness or weakness in the hips can lead to an overworked and compromised lower back over time. The bridge is a staple for improving both strength and mobility through the hips, glutes, and thighs. Start with a double leg bridge, and once 60 seconds becomes easy move onto the single leg bridge.
2. LOW ABDOMINAL HEEL TAPS
To really bulletproof your lower back, you better have a strong core to go with it. These heel taps may look easy at first glance, but the beauty is in the details. Make sure you’re keeping your back flat to the ground, giving a strong brace to your abs, and breathing throughout the movement. If doing this correctly, you will quickly notice those core muscles working.
3. MODIFIED PLANK
Core. Core. Core. We rarely have someone walk into the clinic and find out their core is plenty strong. However, everyone that has worked with us is going to be leaving with a heavy dose of the proper core exercises, because it is essential for healthy joints and movement throughout the body. We love this modified variation with the knees bent up, as it prevents over arching the lower back and really helps people to feel those muscles working.
Try these movements out to get you going in the right direction. If you’ve had back pain for longer than a month, and you’ve tried other physical therapy or it’s just not going away – you need to find a movement specialist to get to the true underlying cause of where your back pain is coming from.
Don’t just wait for the back pain to go away, it won’t. And the longer you wait the longer it will take to get you back to full health and performance. The good news is you can always make positive change, we see it happen every day.
If you continue to struggle with back pain and aren’t getting the improvement you are looking for, click here to contact us today. We work with people like you every day and help them back to high functioning activity without pain or limitation.