Why You Need to Strengthen Your Back
The back and abdominal muscles are not exercised enough through normal daily activities. They require regular work to develop and maintain strength. You may otherwise become prone to injury if these muscles are weak or tight. After a back injury has occurred, it is vital to start a back strengthening and stretching routine to rehabilitate the back. Your deep core stability muscles automatically turn off when there is pain, leaving your spine vulnerable to further injury and persisting chronic pain. However, you can re-activate these muscles via specific retraining.
You may be tempted and go about your daily life and exercise like you did before your injury. It is vital that you take time to rest and recover. By diligently following a specific rehabilitation program, you will be able to eventually return to your regular activities. You will also be less likely to become injured again when you keep up with a back workout routine.
During the time of healing and rehabilitating it is important to:
- Pay attention to your breathing and remember to take deep soothing breaths. If you’re feeling impatient and anxious about your back pain, then consciously take several slow deep breaths, as it will help you relax. Tense muscles will hinder your recovery.
- Learn body awareness and take notice of how you move, sit and stand. This will help with recovery and prevention of another back injury. Pay attention to your posture and learn about specific postural exercises. Correct postural alignment using classes such as pilates and yoga. Poor posture is a common cause of back pain and is a major issue for most people. They are unaware of their poor posture and require someone to identify it for them. During the day, if you notice yourself slouching, consciously straighten your spine and lift your chest. With practice, you will improve your posture and help ease your back pain.
- Accept that your body is injured and it needs to heal. A lot of people who are fitness fanatics or even athletes want to rush their recovery time. They are desperate to continue their gym training, or run hard as they did before. Therefore, it’s important to be patient with your body and accept that you are hurt. You will further cause damage and prolong the healing process if you push yourself too far physically and don’t follow a structured rehab plan.
Your back is weaker after an injury, so it’s important to commit time towards rebuilding the muscles and making them stronger than before. It may already have been weak before you became injured and therefore may have been part of the cause. To create a strong healthy back, you must regularly exercise the abdominals, obliques, hip muscles, back muscles, and glutes. Each of these muscle groups adds support to the spine.
The most important thing to remember when you start doing exercises is to avoid anything that hurts your lower back. Your injury needs a chance to heal, and moving your spine in the wrong direction can injure it even more. There are three basic ways that your spine can move: forwards and backward, side-to-side, and rotational. Your rehabilitation should include only the motions that don’t hurt. Below are some examples of exercises to help rehabilitate the back:
Back Strengthening Exercises and Stretches
Kneeling all fours extension
Start this move by kneeling on all fours. Your hands should be beneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Activate your core muscles and on a breath out, slowly lift your right arm and extend it straight forward whilst simultaneously lifting your left leg and extending it straight back. Breathe in and slowly lower to starting position. Repeat three times on each side.
This exercise is to strengthen you core muscles, lower back and buttocks. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms flat on the floor on either side of you. Activate your core muscles, then push through your feet equally and lift your buttocks up. Holding this position for 10 seconds and then lower. Use your legs, arms and shoulders to balance. Repeat five times.
Lie on your stomach with your forehead down. Stretch your arms out in front of you with the palms down and your legs stretched behind you with toes pointed down. Lift your arms, legs, chest, and head up on one count and hold (A). Inhale and exhale normally as you alternate lifting right arm/left leg (B) and left arm/right leg (C) without touching them down to the mat. Count slowly from 1 to 10 as you swim, lifting higher and reaching longer with each progressive count. Sit back to your heels for a counter stretch in your lower back, if needed.
Stretches for Low Back Pain
Hold each stretch for 40-60 seconds 2 times per day.
- Back Flexion Stretch. Lying on the back, pull both knees to the chest while simultaneously flexing the head forward until a comfortable stretch is felt across the mid and low back.
- Knee to Chest Stretch. Lie on the back with the knees bent and both heels on the floor, then place both hands behind one knee and pull it toward the chest, stretching the buttock muscles.
- Chair Hamstring Stretch. Sitting on a chair, place one leg straight out on another chair in front of the body. Reach toward the toes and stretch one leg at a time.
Remember, preventing back pain before its onset is they key to a healthier back. Back pain is a serious subject. As you recover from a back injury, it is important that you begin to learn how to safely strengthen your back. To help prevent injuries to your back later. To create a strong healthy back, you must regularly exercise the abdominals, obliques, hip muscles, back muscles, and glutes. Each of these muscle groups adds support to the spine. Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med can teach you specific exercises that will help reduce your back pain now – and help you begin a new set of habits that will help keep your back healthy.
Chiro & Sport Med
Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing a pinched nerve, bulging disc, back pain, neck pain, headaches or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident, experiencing injury or suffering from a specific condition like chronic back pain or a spinal condition. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain. To help prevent future problems and injury. To improve your quality of life, your well-being and your ability to live an active healthy lifestyle.