There are multiple reasons so many people experience lower back pain and only by figuring out the source of your back pain can you even begin to reduce it. The range of factors that lead to lower back pain include stress, improper shoes, bad posture, incorrect lifting and sitting down all day. Then, there are the more serious causes such as problems with the spine or even a herniated disc.
In general lower back pain is the result of the misalignment or spasms or too much stress in general on the lumbar region. By performing exercises that target the lumbar region you can go a long way to reduce lower back pain. These exercises target to important muscle groups that support the spine: the lumbar and abdominal muscles.
These two complementary muscle groups—when exercised—improve both the flexibility and strength of both regions, which effectively reduces the pain in the lumbar region. The exercises below are just some you can use to relieve lower back pain.
As long as your exercises target both regions you should experience some pain relief in the affected area. Abdominal contractions, similar to crunches, are just one way to achieve pain relief.
Begin these contracts in a starting position similar to sit ups or crunches, with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. But instead of supporting your neck with your hands, place the hands just below the rib cage. Contract your abdominal muscles and hold for five seconds before relaxing. Remember to exhale while contracting your muscles and inhale while relaxing them.
Abdominal crunches are also effective to relieve lower back pain, but only if performed correctly.
Wall squats can be done anywhere to strengthen the abdominals. Stand against a wall with your back straight. Slowly walk your feet about 12 inches from the wall then tighten abdominal muscles as you lower your body until the knees are in a 90-degree angle. Inhale as you lift back up and repeat at least 10 times.
Make sure your knee never bends past the tips of your toes.
The lower back plays an important role in basic human movements and posture, which means the exercises must target not only the lower back, but also the hip flexors, thighs and legs.
The butterfly stretch helps the hip flexor muscles for more fluid movement. Sitting on the floor with your back straight, bring the bottoms of your feet together until they are touching. Hold your ankles while using your elbows to further the stretch and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Your knees should never touch the ground.
The frog pullover stretch is similar to the butterfly stretch but requires you to lie on your back with the heels of your feet together. Work on your upper body as well by clasping your hands together in front of you.
Hamstring stretches are simple and effective lumbar exercises. Lie on a flat surface with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Grab the back of the knee of one leg—keeping the other bent—and gently pull forward until you feel the hamstring muscle being stretched. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, breathing the entire time, before lowering and repeating on the opposite leg. Do 5 to 10 repetitions on each leg.
Lumbar stretches work on the abdominal and lumbar muscles. Lie on a flat surface with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold the area behind the knee and pull it towards your chest until you feel solidly stretched, then hold for 15 to 20 seconds. Lower the leg down slowly and repeat on the other leg.
These are just a few exercises to reduce lower back pain, but exercise in general will alleviate back pain while working on other issues that cause pain. Exercises and stretching helps maintain proper posture and relieve stress, two causes of lower back pain.