People who lift a lot of weight at work are often seen wearing weight belts for extra support. If you look at one of the belts, you’ll notice it wraps all the way around the abdomen and the back. That’s because the abdomen muscles work to give the back extra support, and the belt is trying to do the work of all the muscles. But your stomach muscles can be a natural weight belt if they’re kept toned and strong.
There’s a definite relationship between your stomach and back pain. If your abdomen muscles are weak, the result can be back pain. A lot of people don’t realize the role stomach muscles play in maintaining a healthy back. After all, the abdomen is in the front and the back is in the rear. But they’re connected by the psoas muscle which runs from the back of the spine to the front of the thigh bone.
There are also 2 sets of abdomen muscles called the rectus abdominis (running up and down) and the transverses abdominis (running side to side).
All of these muscles are used for forward spine movement and spine stability. When the abdominal muscles are weak, the spine doesn’t have the support it needs to operate properly. It can get out of sync with the rest of your body causing the back muscles to work harder and unnaturally.
You can exercise the deep muscles in the stomach and back pain can be minimized through an increase in muscle strength. By keeping the abdomen muscles strengthened you avoid the situation where your back muscles must do the job the stomach muscles are intended to do. Following are some abdomen exercises that will also improve the lower back.
• Floor Crunches
• Alternating or double leg lifts
• Balance ball crunches
• Side bends
When you crunch your stomach and back pain increases, you are probably not doing the crunch correctly. It’s a common mistake people make. To do a crunch correctly, you should keep the lower back flat against the floor and use your abdomen muscles to lift your torso. You can pretend you have a tennis ball between your chin and chest so you don’t pull on your neck and cause upper back pain.
A popular exercise program used for strengthening the muscles of the stomach and back pain alleviation is pilates. Pilates is a combination of floor exercises and yoga. You will also learn to do abdominal breathing which decreases stress. Reducing stress can reduce muscle tightness which can reduce back pain. Abdominal breathing is a deep breathing technique that can effectively reduce anxiety.
Though many people don’t realize it, there’s a definite relationship between weak muscles in the stomach and back pain. By exercising the abdomen muscles, you can reduce the amount of back pain.