When back pain strikes, your first instinct might be to sit down or lie down until your discomfort subsides.
But get this.
Recent studies strongly suggest that medications and rest are a couple of the least effective ways to find relief!
What’s more, research also tells us that it’s often a lack of daily movement that causes back pain to begin in the first place!
And most of us already know that, don’t we?
If there’s one thing just about every patient we work with for low back rehab agrees on, it’s that if we remain sitting or standing in the same position for too long, we get sore, stiff, and tired.
It’s clear our bodies were designed to move.
It makes sense, then, that movement is one of the best ways to recover from back pain.
If everyday activities where we’re up and moving like vacuuming can take a toll on our back and leave us feeling the same as if we had been sitting down for too long, how exactly does movement help us recover?
When it comes to finding the best low back pain relief exercises, you need to think like a chiropractor.
Let’s dive in.
Why it Matters:
Finding relief from low back pain through movement starts with a basic understanding of proper body mechanics.
The right movements and exercises can help you recover more quickly and prevent future back pain episodes.
Let’s start with movement.
There are three different basic types of body movement: segmental, regional, and whole-body movement.
The foundation of all movement is segmental movement.
You can think of segmental movement as what occurs between the individual joints of your body.
A step above that are regional movements which are the more complex overall movements that occur in a particular body region like the neck, mid-back, or low back.
Finally, whole-body movement is what we typically think of as exercise.
As you can tell, all three types of movement are essential and work together to keep your spine and musculoskeletal system healthy and supported so it can keep functioning at its best.
Let’s break it down…
- Segmental Movement: Moving the individual joints of your body is what chiropractors are specifically trained to do. Proper segmental movement can help reduce physical and neurological pain and improve your range of motion.
- Regional Movement: Regional range of motion exercises performed in combination with dynamic stretching can help reduce low back stiffness.
- Whole Body Exercise: Daily exercise not only helps your brain and body feel better as a whole, but also helps to improve your body’s ability to rest and recover at night.
Low Back Pain Relief Exercises
Targeted whole body exercises are particularly important because these motions can help strengthen and lengthen the muscles that support the spine.
As you might imagine, we recommend a combination of low or minimal impact exercises and stretches that focus on the back and core muscles to our patients who’ve come to us for low back rehab.
Strong core (abdominal) muscles are key to helping you maintain proper posture and alignment of the spine, and flexible muscles are less prone to injury which means you’re less prone to injury.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind that low back pain relief exercises that help to build-up and support the back shouldn’t involve awkward or physically stressful motions as these often have the opposite effect.
Bicycling, swimming, and walking are all examples of fundamentally safe and beneficial activities that are characterized by low impact movements.
Activities like tennis, weightlifting, and running, on the other hand, can be considered somewhat risky because of the different motions and impact involved. The same can be said with the vacuuming example we mentioned earlier.
Simple, low impact, easily repeatable exercises and stretches that you can regularly incorporate into your daily routine are key for improving your back health.
If your joints aren’t moving correctly, the rest of your body isn’t moving correctly, or well for that matter, and that’s when pain can strike.
And while moving may feel like the last thing you should do more of if you’re struggling with back pain, research has repeatedly shown that movement and exercise are two of the best ways to find relief from back pain.
If you’ve dealt with back pain, and you’re exploring options for low back rehab, we hope you’ll give us a call today.
We’re dedicated to providing pain-relieving, back-pain-preventing, drug-free options for low back pain relief including low back pain relief exercises, and we’re here for you.
Our expert team has the experience and know how to ensure your body is moving and functioning at its best and to help you design the perfect personalized exercise plan to help you get (and stay) well for years to come!