Exercises for Back Pain
What are the best exercises for back pain?
The 5 best exercises for back pain are the ones you can easily commit to doing every day. Evidence suggests that exercising regularly is beneficial for people with low back pain. Moreover, research shows that becoming sedentary is proven to worsen things. As a result, staying active and carrying on with day-to-day activities tends to improve pain outcomes. Therefore, we recommend that you start with only 5 simple exercises that you can commit to, and just get moving.
Here are 5 easy Pilates exercises for back pain that will help you mobilise and strengthen your spine
The NHS recommends people with mild back pain to try to exercise and try to continue to maintain an active lifestyle. Your exercise regime should include a combination of endurance, strength and flexibility.
Pilates exercises are widely prescribed for back pain sufferers. This type of exercise focuses on rebalancing the muscles around the joints of the whole body emphasising of core strength. In addition, Pilates offers great exercises for back pain and provides infinite number of modifications for injuries.
Joseph Pilates once said “If you are stiff at 30 and out of shape you’re old. If at 60 you’re supple and strong, you’re young”
Here’s our top choice 5 easiest Pilates exercises for back pain that will help you gently mobilise your spine and strengthen your core.
Furthermore, these exercises target all spinal movements in all planes.
The Hip Roll
The aim of this exercise is to mobilise your lower back segmentally into flexion and to strengthen your gluteus, hamstrings and spinal muscles.
- Tip: avoid hyper extending lower back by popping ribs out. Certainly, your hips should lift to maximum hip extension while your ribcage stays connected and managed. Roll up and down through the centre of your spine avoiding wobbling or shifting during movement.
Controlled spinal rotations can help stretch the tight muscles in your back, such as your QL, while mobilising the restricted segments in your spine.
- Tip: keep your abdominal muscles active in order to support your lower back.
Even more, feel the stretch, inhale to stay and exhale to return to starting position.
Add a small weight, such as a toning ball for exercise progression.
The Abdominal Prep
This exercise should place no stresses on the lower back if done correctly.
- Tip: the key is to maintain your lower back and pelvis in a neutral alignment throughout, avoiding flattening your lower back on the ground. Above all, maintaining the natural lumbar curve, as when standing, you are mobilising the thoracic spine and stretching the posterior fascia.
Extensions are great for your spine, especially thoracic ones. If you work in flexion you must extend in order to rebalance the muscles on your spine. Try this simple exercise to improve the mobility in your upper back.
Start facing down in a neutral spinal alignment. Your hands are in line with your shoulders and not pushing against the ground. Instead, they are just resting by your sides.
Repeat 10 times.
- Modify if your upper back is excessively flexed and you can’t come off the mat, in which case you can prop yourself up onto a box or a bench.
The Side Bend
Side bending is the first spinal movement that we tend to lose with ageing and stiffness. Therefore, maintaining your lateral flexion is key to keeping your spine supple and mobile.
Remember to initiate by contracting your abdominal muscles before you move with every exercise.
Why are these exercises good for me?
Stabilise the give, and Mobilise the restriction
One of the most important things or good spinal movement when it comes to exercises for back pain is to stabilise the give and move the restriction. This means that some segments of your spine will be restricted and some will be hyper mobile. Consequently, you want to stabilise by strengthening the weak areas and move the tight ones.
In the spine typically the mid-upper back tends to be less mobile because of the attachment of the ribcage to the spinal itself. On the other hand, the lower back tends to be more mobile and less stable.
It is advocated that by strengthening the core muscles you are supporting the lower back. At the same time, by mobilising your mid-upper back you can take pressure off your low back.