Back pain is a multifaceted problem that affects millions of Americans every year. As a result of our modernized society, the majority of Americans have adopted a sedentary way of life. From commuting in the car, to sitting at the office, to relaxing on the couch at night, Americans have become accustomed to an inactive lifestyle.
This lack of movement has led to muscle atrophy in our backs, affecting the other complex systems that make up our spine. Fortunately, research has found that completing different exercises is the best way to treat back pain.
Founded thousands of years ago, yoga cultivates a harmony of the body, mind, and outside world. Yoga increases strength, while bolstering flexibility and balance at the same time.
Due to the unique nature of many yoga poses, yoga works muscles that are often overlooked, increasing blood flow and strength to numerous back and abdominal muscles. By reinforcing these fundamental muscles, yoga is the perfect activity to maintain a strong spine.
Cardiovascular exercise is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and lose calories. Paired with a balanced diet, cardio allows us to drop excess weight, which is highly beneficial for our spinal health.
Designed to support the body’s weight, the spine is significantly strained when a surplus of weight counteracts the body’s natural balance. As a result, the spine often faces structural damage and poor posture, which further enhances back pain.
Pilates is a versatile, low-impact exercise that strengthens and stabilizes your entire body. This system of exercises may be performed on a mat or with a range of equipment.
By primarily targeting the glutes, hips, abdominals, and lower back, Pilates improves spine alignment, which promotes proper posture and eases back pain.
The deadlift is a free weight exercise that works your glutes, hamstrings, back and core by lifting a barbell or a hex bar from the floor to the hips. Once your torso is perpendicular to the floor, the barbell is placed back on the floor, all while maintaining a neutral spine alignment.
By engaging such large muscle groups, the deadlift bolsters muscle strength, increases stability, and corrects posture. To provide maximum spinal benefits, check with a physical trainer that you are lifting with proper form before increasing in weight.
Stretching is an essential step in improving overall spinal health. Stretching boosts circulation throughout your entire body and loosens tight muscles. Tight muscles in the upper back, as well as tight hamstrings or hip flexors often causes muscles in the lower back to overcompensate, leading to discomfort and pain.
The key to stretching is to make it a part of your daily routine in order to gain and maintain flexibility. Though time consuming, the benefits are well worth it.
6. Strengthen Your Core
A strong core is the foundation of a healthy person, as the core serves to stabilize and balance your body. By developing muscles in the pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen to work in harmony, your spine will be strong and supported.
There are a number of basic core exercises that are doable for beginners. Some exercises that you can try include:
- Side Plank
7. Change Sleeping Position
On average, adults sleep 8 hours a night. Due to the large portion of time that we spend asleep, it is the perfect opportunity to maximize our spinal health.
Research shows that sleeping flat on your back is the optimal position for a healthy spine. By placing a pillow underneath your head, neck, and knees, stress on your lower back will be alleviated. This neutral position will improve posture, and promote spinal alignment by allowing the natural curve of your spine to remain intact.
Contact The Spine Pro
At The Spine Pro, Dr. Hooman Melamed is committed to providing the highest level of healthcare available. If you are experiencing chronic back pain that does not subside after trying these exercises, schedule an appointment with The Spine Pro today.