Chronic back pain and back injuries are common occurrences in people of all ages. You might have bent or twisted wrong and pulled something in your back. You could have forgotten to bend at the knees when lifting a heavy object. Even people who play sports or exercise regularly can injure their backs.
The reason for most back injuries and pain is related to the back muscles not being properly strengthened and conditioned to provide the proper support needed for the back. Regardless of your age and physical fitness level, it is highly recommended to consult with a qualified medical provider before starting any exercise routine for your back after an injury or to help alleviate chronic pain. Based upon the underlying causes and symptoms, some exercises could cause more harm than good. By seeking medical advice from a professional, you will know exactly which exercises are well-suited for your particular situation and needs.
One exercise most people assume helps strengthen the back are toe touches. Another one is full sit-ups. However, these exercises place higher strain on the spine and back, so they may not be the best option for you. Instead, do partial sit-ups (crunches). Since you are lying on your back, with your knees bent and feet firmly planted on the floor, you place less strain on the back, while at the same time you help strengthen both the stomach muscles and lower back muscles. Another beneficial exercise to try is the hamstring stretch. While laying on your back, use a towel or exercise cord around the bottom of your foot to help pull your leg up and straighten it out. Once it is straightened out, bend the foot upwards (down toward your body) and hold it in this positon for 20 to 30 seconds.
If you are recovering from an injury or have severe choric back pain, you should skip dual leg lifts. When both legs are raised off the ground, it is very demanding on your lower back and core regions, and could result in making the pain worse. Instead, bend one leg and put your foot firmly on the floor, and then raise and hold the leg about 6 to 8 inches above the ground for about ten seconds. Back press-ups are another exercise you can try to help strengthen the back. This exercise is like a reverse sit-up, where you lie on your stomach and use your hands to lift your shoulders. Once you push up on the shoulders, try to keep your hands and elbows firmly on the ground, and hold this position for a brief period of time.
The above exercises are just a few of the ones your medical provider could recommend, and which are suggested to help treat chronic back pain and back injuries. When learning new exercises, take the time to learn the proper form and techniques from a professional before doing them on your own. In between exercises, remember to fuel your body with protein and energy bars, as well as to drink plenty of water.