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THE 7 BEST EXERCISES TO ALLEVIATE LOWER BACK PAIN

Here is a great article posted by N.A.S.M. on the 7 best exercises for alleviating lower back pain!


If you’ve ever suffered from lower back pain, you know that it can be, well, a pain! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted a National Health Interview survey of 31,997 adults in 2019. Their reports showed that 39% of respondents suffered from low back pain, and the populations with the greatest risk were adults over 65, women, non-Hispanic white adults, and those with income below 100% of the federal poverty level.

Even though back pain is a common issue, the good news is there’s something that you can do about it.


This article will discuss some of the causes of low back pain and show you some lower back stretches and exercises to keep you healthy, strong, and hopefully, pain-free!

A pain-free lower back is a ticket to success for you or a potential clients you have. If you want to equip yourself with knowledge to correct movement-based pain, sign up for the NASM course in Corrective Exercise.


LOW BACK PAIN AND CORRECTIVE EXERCISE

Low back pain has many potential causes including muscle imbalances, decreased mobility, disc pathology, facet joint dysfunction, joint degeneration (spondylosis), and spinal instability (Cheatham & Kolber, 2016). To get a correct diagnosis of the cause of your back pain and proper treatment, it’s important to see your doctor. There are stretches and exercises that you can perform safely that indirectly address lower back pain by improving mobility, strength, and movement patterns. A common question that clients ask me is, “If it’s my back that hurts, why aren’t we just focusing on that area?” It’s a great question! Very often, the site of the pain is simply a symptom and not the root cause. For example, someone who is seated for many hours in a row is likely to have low back pain not just because the back muscles are stiff, but because of shortened hip flexors. Tight hip flexors can rotate the pelvis anteriorly (forward), which lengthens the glutes and alters the curvature of the spine. The low back muscles over-compensate for the glutes (which are rendered inactive by the anterior pelvic tilt) and the lower back muscles end up getting sore and tired from doing more than their fair share. In this case, the root cause of the back pain is overactive hip flexors and underactive glutes. By addressing the root issue, reduced low-back pain is often the by-product.


7 CORRECTIVE EXERCISES TO ALLEVIATE LOWER BACK PAIN

The corrective exercise follows a specific order of operations for best results: • Inhibit (or foam roll) the over-active muscles.

Lengthen (or stretch) the muscles that you foam rolled.

Activate (strengthen) the under-active muscles.

Integrate or teach the muscle groups to function properly together for better movement.

In these exercise examples, we’ll follow this corrective continuum to address over-active and under-active muscles that typically lead to lower back pain. Disclaimer: It’s outside of the scope of this article to diagnose or treat pain, but if you’ve already been treated by a physician and have been cleared for exercise, then give these a try. If at any point you feel pain or discomfort that is not tolerable, discontinue the exercise.

Foam Roll and Stretch These Muscle Groups:


#1 FOAM ROLL ADDUCTORS (INNER THIGH MUSCLES)

See how to foam roll adductors here

• Lie face down with one knee bent, the foam roller just inside the knee on the inner thigh. Slowly roll the foam roller toward the groin, and then back toward the knee to find areas of tension in the muscle.

• When you find the most tender spot (but still tolerable to hold), hold it there for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

• Avoid areas where you feel a heartbeat, or any nerve-tingling sensations.

Stretch the adductors:

• Stand with feet wide, toes pointed straight ahead.

• Bend your knee on one side, and let the trailing leg stay straight to stretch the inner thigh.

• Hold the stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

• Perform this same stretch seated, if needed.


#2 HIP FLEXORS/QUADS

Foam Roll Hip Flexors/Quads

• Lay on the foam roller so that the roller is just be