Conquering the Pain Beast with Exercises for Lower Back Pain

When you have lower back pain it can feel as if you’re carrying around a beast that won’t let go. Sitting, twisting, bending and even walking can be difficult and as a result, it’s tempting to reduce the level of activity. Unfortunately that’s the worst thing you can do. The less you do the more it’s going to hurt. Think of it this way. When you aren’t doing anything to improve the pain, why would you expect it to improve? In other words, if you don’t to exercises for lower back pain, how are the muscles going to get stronger?

Lower back pain is the result of both emotional and physical factors. They are intertwined and can’t be separated. Exercises for lower back pain don’t just deal with muscles. They also deal with your mental state that makes you believe lack of exercise is the cure for back pain. Exercise can help you adjust your attitude, get some feel-good endorphins flowing and strengthen your back.

Of course, some lower back pain will need surgical correction if the result of degenerative disease for example. But even in that situation, exercise serves the same purpose. It can reduce the amount of back pain you are experiencing while waiting for surgery by strengthening the muscles. Getting your lower back muscles into good shape will also help you recover faster from the surgery. Exercise is just plain good for you whether you have back pain or not.

Exercises for lower back pain include a variety of exercises that include even aerobic conditioning. The lower back muscles and bones are just a subset of your overall muscular skeletal structure. Whatever you do for the lower back benefits the entire system, and it works the other way around too. The better shape your body is in overall, the better for your lower back. If you are out of shape or overweight, both conditions can contribute to lower back pain.

Following is a list of some exercises for lower back pain. You can do these exercises at home, but if you’re under the care of a doctor it’s important to show the physician the plan. The important thing is to do them regularly. You can’t do them for a few days and then quit and expect to see results. It may hurt at first, but if you stick with the program you’ll be amazed at how the pain beast begins to let go.

• Abdominal contractions
• Wall slides or squats
• Straight leg raises
• Alternating knee to chest
• Treadmill
• Stationary bike
• Balance ball arm and leg raises (lie on stomach)

There are others you can do too. You should start with 3 ten minute sessions a day and add time as your muscles get stronger. Exercises for lower back pain can scare the pain beast away so you can restore your lively step to your daily activities.

Lower Back Pain Relief…Aaahhh…That Feels Better!

There are many things you can do on your own to find lower back pain relief. You don’t have to suffer day after day. Many cases of lower back pain aren’t bad enough to drive you to the doctor, yet the continual or intermittent pain is enough to interfere with your activities. Getting up in the morning, picking up heavier objects, bending and squatting, and any twisting at the waist can cause pain that’s uncomfortable and tiresome.

There are many therapies you can do at home for lower back pain relief. Managing your own back therapy sessions gives you the option of instituting any of a number of methods that have proven to work for most people with pain that occurs during the performance of daily activities. You can even sneak a few into your workday if you so desire.

The first “home remedy” is doing limited exercises to begin strengthening the lower back muscles. The lower back muscles are often the source of pain and not the lower spine itself. When muscles are weak, they are more prone to injury and sprains. You can begin an program that includes the following exercises which target the lower back. These exercises will stretch the muscles and make them strong and flexible so they are better able to handle your daily activities.

* Lie on your back with knees bent and pull one knee at a time to your chest

* Lie on your back and flatten your lower back against the floor; release tension and repeat

* One your hands and knees, first round your back up to the ceiling and then curve it towards the floor

* On your hands and knees, raise the left arm and right knee and hold

These are just a few of the kinds of exercises you can do to find lower back pain relief. Another method of pain control you can use at home is ice or heat packs. Ice packs will reduce muscle inflammation, while heat promotes healing. The choice you make depends upon your injury or strain. The one caution about using ice and heat packs is to not apply them directly to the skin. You want to wrap the ice or heating pad in a towel or cover so you don’t cause any skin damage.

You can also try some of the over the counter medications for lower back pain relief, but do so with a full understanding of how they will affect your lifestyle. Many of the over the counter medications are now what used to be prescription strength. They will interact with other drugs you may be taking for other ailments. Anti-inflammatory medications can cause you to bleed abnormally or even cause liver damage. These medications should only be used according to the package instructions.

You can usually find lower back pain relief through adherence to a home pain management program if you are consistent. But sometimes you have to admit your home plan isn’t working and will need to see a doctor. The doctor has a large array of options to offer for lower back pain relief. The doctor will probably do some tests first to make sure there is no spinal disease or damage.

Oh What a Pain This Is!….Cause of Lower Back Pain

If the pain in your back worsens, or you can’t find relief through moderate exercise and over the counter medications, it’s time to see a doctor to find the cause of lower back pain. There can be many reasons why you’re having back pain and they can extend beyond simple muscle sprains. Finding the cause can be tricky though, because many times the problem won’t show up on an x-ray or MRI. For example, a spine slightly out of alignment with your body may not be very noticeable, yet it causes d8aily pain.

The doctor will do many tests to begin eliminating each possible cause of lower back pain. For example, he or she will manipulate the leg through various moves to determine if the pain increases or results in pain elsewhere in the body. Some tests you will be familiar with such as the reflex test. Other tests may be unfamiliar but they are very simple. If the doctor determines the basic moves indicate further testing is necessary to find the cause of lower back pain, the next steps will be taken.

Some of the tests the doctor will perform entail the use of very high tech medical equipment. Each test can provide a higher level of detail of your spine and surrounding muscle and ligaments. Most people have had an x-ray in their life, but an x-ray will only show bones. If the cause of lower back pain is muscle, tendon, ligament or nerve damage, the x-ray is pretty much a useless test.

The MRI, on the other hand, gives a lot more information about your back. It can show the doctor the condition of every part of the structure of your back including the nerves and discs. There are so many possible causes of lower back pain, that when pain won’t subside, the MRI is a great tool for diagnostic testing. Other testing methods include a CAT scan or a discogram. A discogram involves injecting dye into the spinal discs to pinpoint the source of pain.

So what can be the cause of lower back pain? There are numerous conditions that can result in ongoing back pain.

* Herniated disc
* Pinched nerve
* Strained muscle
* Spinal tumor
* Degenerative disease
* Infection
* Arthritis
* Osteoporosis
* Fractures

With all these potential causes of back pain, it’s no wonder it can take several months and lots of testing to determine the problem. The lower back is particularly susceptible to pain, because it has a lot of pressure put on it while sitting. People who sit at desks all day frequently end up with lower back pain. In that case, strengthening the lower back muscles can work wonders. There are even special chairs made that take the strain and pressure off the lower back while sitting.

The good news is that most of the time the cause of lower back pain is quite simple, and can be corrected with moderate exercise.

To the Right….to the Right….to the Right Side Back Pain

Right side back pain is actually quite common, and probably one of the reasons is most people tend to be right sided and overcompensate with the right side for strength moves, writing, lifting and so on. There’s no scientific proof this is true, but even poor sitting posture often involves leaning to the right and straining the right side lower back muscles.

Of course, there can be many reasons for right side back pain, just like there are for any other kind of back pain. Poor posture is often a culprit, but other reasons include the following.

* Injury
* Skeletal imbalances
* Muscle strains
* Obesity
* Disease

Lower back pain can actually not be related to the back at all. Kidney problems, for example, can cause lower back pain on one side. You have to take into consideration all of your symptoms in order to determine if you should see a doctor. Unremitting pain is a clue you need physician assistance.

When the back pain is due to muscle weakness, you can reduce or eliminate right side back pain with exercise. Doing lower back exercises can strengthen the muscles that support the spine and the body. Exercise can develop back muscles that are able to properly lift loads and assist with the support of the torso. Exercise is a solution to back pain that is often overlooked at home, because pain makes you want to not move. Yet keeping the back muscles supple and pliant can go a long way towards preventing or improving a back injury.

Often, right side back pain is due to improper lifting. You should never bend at the waist and curve your spine while legs are kept straight and stiff. That is one of the most frequent causes of back injury. Your body is composed of bone, muscle and tissues that provide cushioning and flexibility. Yet all too often, we try to move while keeping our physical structure stiff. The result is injury, sprains, pulls and tears.

In order to avoid the most common right side back pain, always lift by following safety tips.

* Keep feet should width apart
* Slightly bend the knees
* Squat down and pick up item
* Bring item close to body
* Raise from full squat

You should not bend at the waist and lift an item from the floor. You stand a good chance of injuring your back when you keep your legs stiff and your back out of alignment.

If you injure your back and the pain persists, you should consult a doctor. Some right side back pain can indicate a more severe problem then a muscle sprain. If you can’t sleep at night or the pain is severe, you might have a spinal problem that needs attention.

Exercises for Lower Back Pain

To restore the strength of your back and for a gradual return to regular activity, regular exercise is necessary. There are several exercises for lower back pain that you should try, with the approval of your doctor, to relieve or ease the pain in your lower back. These exercises for lower back pain should be done one to three times per day, for ten to thirty minutes total. Your orthopaedic surgeon or physical therapist may suggest some of the following exercises for lower back pain. At first, these exercises for lower back pain should be supervised by the therapist or surgeon until you are doing them correctly or that they are having a mild to moderate effect.

Initially, your doctor or surgeon will recommend these exercises for lower back pain. Ankle pumps are where you lie on your back and move your ankles up and down slowly ten to twenty times. Heel slides, also on your back, require you to slowly bend and straighten your knee ten times. The abdominal contraction has you lying on your back with your knees bent and your hands resting below your ribs. Tighten your stomach muscles to squeeze your ribs down toward your back – remember to breath. Hold for five seconds and repeat ten times. Straight leg raises have you on your back – still – with one leg bent and the other straight. Tighten your stomach muscles to stabilize your lower back, and then lift your leg six to twelve inches and hold for one to five seconds. Repeat this exercise ten times. Heel raises have you standing. Raise your heels up and down slowly ten times. Finally, for your initial set of exercises for lower back pain, is the wall squats. Stand with your back against the wall. Walk your feet out about twelve inches in front of your body, slide your body down, and keep your stomach muscles tight, so that your knees are at a 45 degree angle. Hold for five seconds, return to your upright position, and repeat ten times.

After you have accomplished these initial exercises for lower back pain, your therapist or surgeon will give you an intermediate exercise program to work on, while still working with the initial set of exercises. These two exercises for lower back pain add additional strength to the lower back muscles. The single knee to chest stretch has you lying on your back again with both knees bent. Holding your thigh behind your knee, bring that knee up to your chest and hold for twenty seconds. Relax and repeat five times on each side. The hamstring stretch also has you on your back with knees bent. Hold one thigh behind your knee and slowly straighten the knee until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh. Hold for twenty seconds, relax, and repeat five times on each side.

Your doctor could also prescribe a set of exercises with a Swiss Ball for lumbar stabilization and eventually an advanced set of exercises for lower back pain. All of the exercises prescribed by the doctor or therapist should be done, in addition to all the other initial and intermediate exercises that were prescribed. All these exercises for lower back pain strengthen the core muscles of the stomach as well as the lower back muscles, which in turn strengthen the back for added natural back support.