The Best Exercise Routine for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain or “lumbago,” as it is more formally referred to, is said to affect 80 % of the population in the United States. Lower back pain can be acute, sub-acute or chronic. A weakness of the “core muscles” located at the back — the abdomen, hips and buttocks are often the root cause of lower back pain. It is these core muscles that keep the spine firmly in place as a person goes about his daily chores and other normal movements – walking, running, lifting, exercising, stretching, etc. They are responsible for maintaining proper posture and for stabilizing the spine. Doing exercises for lower back pain is one of the most effective ways of combating recurrent or chronic lower back pain.

People who periodically experience lower back pain should undertake a regular exercise regimen to maintain or restore the strength and flexibility of the muscles in your back. After an injury, a set of exercises prescribed by an orthopaedic surgeon and/or a Physical Therapist can help you towards a gradual return to everyday activities towards your full recovery. There is no instant resurgence as far as injured lower back muscles are concerned. You may be advised to exercise 10 to 30 minutes a day 1 to 3 times a day during your early recovery. If the exercise is done to help you recover from an injury, it will be most prudent to undertake it under the supervision of your therapist and/or orthopaedic surgeon.

Low back pain among adults and is often caused by muscle strain or injury or sometimes overuse. A regular lower back exercise regimen can help you stay as active as possible and avoid lower back injury and its attendant lower back pain. Lower back pain, so long as it is not caused by an injury to the muscles, can get better if you stay active, avoid positions and activities that may increase or cause back pains, use hot or cold compresses or take non-prescription pain relievers, when you need them. It is not advisable to do any strenuous exercises when still experiencing acute lower back pains. However, it is also important to know that you should not let the fear of pain keep you from trying some gentle activity. You should try to keep active soon after noticing the pain and gradually work up to increase your activity level. Too little activity can lead to loss of flexibility, strength and endurance, and then to even more incidents of lower back pain.

When the acute lower back pain is gone, you may be ready for some gentle strengthening exercises for your stomach, back and legs, and perhaps for some stretching exercises that are all meant to strengthen and make the muscles more supple on your back. These routine exercises may not only help minimize incidents of lower back pain, but it may also help you recover faster from an injury, prevent a re-injury to your back and reduce the risks of developing a disability from back pain.

These initial gentle, non-strenuous exercises which can be done right at home may take the following forms: ankle pumps, heel slides, abdominal contractions, wall squats, heel raises or straight leg raises, etc. Certain exercises may also be done using a Swiss Ball. Consult your health practitioner before embarking on an exercise regimen, especially after an injury.

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