Three Great Back Pain Relievers
No we aren’t talking about any anti-inflammatories or pain killers. We are talking about exercises that you can do every day; anywhere you are, to reduce your back pain.
Most of the time we can associate back pain with a lack of movement in the hip region. If your hips are locked up and tight your lower back muscles will take over and cause pain. A rounded upper back will also cause mid to low back pain due to the tension constantly placed on the spinal erectors (muscles in the lower back).
There are obviously many factors that contribute to back pain, but from my experience working these three exercises daily will help the majority of folks that have a functional cause of their back pain. If the pain is caused by a structural issue (disc, scoliosis, etc.) you need to have it looked at by a doctor or see us for an assessment to determine the severity or exact cause. I can attest to the fact that many of our clients with structural issues benefit from these three exercises as well!
The first exercise will have a twofold benefit. Not only will it help reduce the low back we are talking about but it will help with shoulder pain or injuries as well. This exercise is called the Quadruped T-Spine Extension and Rotation. You see this in our warm up for every person that comes in the gym. This movement focuses on opening up the thoracic spine (just below the neck and to the bottom of the rib cage or at the top of the lower back) by working on the range of motion that you are able to move through correctly. This will open up the shoulders, reduce the hunchback (rounded shoulders) look and relieve tension on the spinal erectors. This can be progresses by going into a plank (shown in the video) and performing the same motion. It is important to try and focus the movement on the upper back and shoulder blade on the side you are working and not letting the hips or lower back open and twist.
The second exercise is the X-band walk. This is another favorite that works on the external rotators of the hip and the gluteal muscles. These muscles when functioning properly will take the load off our back when moving or lifting and allow the hips to do what they are supposed to do. Our femurs line up correctly, allowing the rest of the lower body to align and then our backs are in a better, healthier position. You have to remember that the body works as a chain and when one link is out of place it can throw everything else off.
The final exercise is one that we don’t use a lot of daily but we will use it to teach the squat. In this exercise we are working on unloading the hips and getting a good depth in a squat. Using a pillar to grab on to and allowing you to go into a deep squat will reduce the load on your legs and back and help you achieve a great range of motion. If you can’t lay flat on your back and bring your knees into your chest while your hips and back stay on the ground you probably won’t get much out of this movement. This exercise will allow you to train the squat pattern that we need to perfect and also loosen up your hips and thoracic spine! It is great multi-functional exercise
Perform 10-15 reps of each of these each day and see how much better you feel!