Learn simple stretches and exercises that can prevent, reduce and
eliminate back pain. If you’re going to exercise, the back is an
important muscle group often overlooked.
The lower back is the pivot point of the body, bearing most of the weight
with only a tiny spinal column and a few muscles to hold it all up. We
add a lot of stress to our backs, by lifting and twisting in unnatural
positions and by not exercising to strengthen back muscles. If we’re
lucky, the pain we get in our backs is only muscle strain. If
not, it could be
osteoporosis, disc injury or fracture.
This article offers simple exercises to strengthen the back, preventing or
relieving back pain.
See A Doctor: This is a great place to start with back pain.
Many injuries and strains can cause back pain. Only some of these can
be relieved by exercise. In many cases, the other injuries can be
worsened by trying to exercise. While it’s a good idea for any kind of
back pain and before starting any back exercise routine, it’s essential to
see a doctor in every case where numbness or sharp pain is experienced.
Don’t be like my brother, who pressed on through the pain only to require
major surgery to reinforce his lower back.
You Can’t Exercise Bones: What my brother didn’t realize is, you
can’t exercise bones….all you can do is further harm them. What
started as a simple dislocation ended with several of his vertebra being
fractured because he refused to heed the pain warnings his back was giving
him. Whether we like it or we think it’s convenient, the pain is there
for a reason. We ignore it at our own risk. Have I warned you
enough to see a doctor? Good!
Preventing Back Pain: The old adage, “lift with your legs” comes to
mind. So many of us try to lift with our backs bent over, it’s amazing
there are so few injuries. When we bend our backs to lift, we force
our spine and those few muscles to lift the weight of our package and the
weight of most of our body at the same time. Because of the leverage
involved, we’re putting several hundred pounds of pressure on a structure
less than 2 inches in diameter. When you lift, keep your back
straight, your knees together, lift your head back to look straight ahead.
Then your legs, with their strong bones and huge muscle groups, do the work.
Another way to prevent back pain is by stretching after any activity that
requires back work, including gardening, swimming, rowing, running, walking,
sports, bicycling, etc. Just stand on a level surface with your feet
straight ahead and a natural distance apart. Slowly bend over at the
waist and hang there with your arms hanging down for about a half minute,
then slowly straighten back up. This stretches all the muscles in your
back from the knees to the head. I’ve found it’s necessary to do even
after fishing or long drives.
Simple Back Pain Exercises: 1. Push-backs: This
exercise helps us prevent back pain by avoiding weight gain. Just push back
from the dinner table a little early. 2. Abdominal pressure:
Sometimes our muscles pull us out of alignment. We can ease this pain
by laying flat on our backs on a hard floor, with our knees up, literally
pushing down with our stomach muscles. 3. Knee lifts: From
the same position, slowly lift one knee at a time, using your arms to pull
it to your chest. 4. Bending: Stand straight up on a level
surface and slowly bend forward, back, Left and Right. 5. Light
dumbbells: Standing straight up on a level surface with your feet
about 18″ apart, extend your arms slowly out to the sides and front with a
dumbbell (2-5#) in each hand.
To prevent injury, don’t ever try to force back exercises. Many
repetitions of very light exercise is what’s needed to strengthen back
muscles. As the muscles get stronger, the pain goes away. This
takes a lot of the stress off of the vertebra and allows the muscles to do
I’ve known many people who work out for good looks and completely ignore
the back. My brother is one who worked all the muscle groups that gave
your that “buff” look. He’s one of the best looking people I know who
have severely limited mobility due to back injury. If you’re going to
spend the time to exercise at all, do it for fitness and physical
ability…not looks. Once we’ve seen the doctor, we can prevent back
injury and relieve back pain, simply by regularly doing the right exercises
and back stretches. Back pain exercise are one area where an ounce of
prevention is worth a thousand pounds of cure.
If you’re looking to improve your health and fitness, you
probably want a healthy life…including mind, body and
spirit. You can renew your mind and spirit with God’s help. He can heal
the stuff your diet doesn’t control. If you want His help, go to
What exercises do you use to relieve back pain?