Ah, lower back pain. That tightness you feel after sitting at your desk for too long, that shooting pain you experience when bending or twisting the wrong way, or that ache you dread when you roll out of bed in the morning. Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints of Americans, and it’s one of the main reasons people seek care from an Atlanta chiropractor. It is estimated that about 80% of Americans will experience some form of back problems during their lifetime, and lower back pain is actually the primary cause of disability across the US.
In most cases, back pain is not caused by a serious or chronic issue, like arthritis, infection, or cancer. Instead, it’s considered a mechanical problem, meaning it’s likely caused by something being a little “out of whack” that leads to pain. Because the back is made up of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles, in addition to spinal discs, vertebral joints, and an endless supply of nerves, it can be injured quite easily and in a variety of ways.
Since most instances of back pain are minor and not related to anything more serious, they will often resolve on their own with minimal effort on your part. However, you should visit an Atlanta chiropractor to ensure your body is functioning well and to help your spine retain proper alignment so that it can heal properly and promptly. You can also utilize some lower back stretches to help ease your pain and reduce the likelihood of the same thing happening in the future. Check out our list of dos and don’ts for stretching out your lower back.
DO Partial Crunches
While a full sit-up isn’t a great idea for reducing the pressure and stress on your lower back, partial crunches can help strengthen both your lower back and your core, which can reduce back pain both in the present and in the future.
DON’T Try Toe Touches
The quick movement of these can aggravate your back muscles and spinal discs. They also put greater pressure on the discs and surrounding ligaments, leading to overstretched muscles and hamstrings, which will only add to your pain rather than alleviate it.
DO Hamstring Stretches
Hamstring flexibility has a lot to do with how much back pain a person experiences, so stretching your hamstrings are a great exercise. Lie on your back with one leg bent with your foot on the floor. Lift your other leg up and loop a towel over your foot, then straighten your leg and gently pull on the towel until you feel the stretch in your hamstring.
DON’T Do Leg Lifts While Lying On Your Back
While this exercise can be great for strengthening your core, unless you already have pretty solid abs, this exercise is going to do more harm than good. It will put a lot of pressure on your back and can actually increase your pain. Instead, you can bend one leg and do a small lift with your other leg while it’s straight, lifting it no more than six inches off the ground.
DO Wall Sits
Lean your back against the wall and step your feet forward slightly while you slide down to a sitting position. Be sure to press your lower back against the wall during this exercise, and hold it for about ten seconds. Make sure you repeat it several times and breathe through the exercise as well.
DON’T Overdo It With Weights
While strength training can help improve your back pain long term, you have to be careful lifting weights while you’re experiencing the pain. Any excess strain on your lower back can exacerbate the problem and increase your pain, so it’s best to stick to stretches until your pain has subsided.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, lifting your toes toward the ceiling. Pushing your heels down into the floor while pushing your hips toward the ceiling, all the while squeezing your glutes. Make sure your knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line. Hold your bridge at the top position and then slowly lower your back down to the floor. Be sure not to arch your back or drop yourself back down to the floor too quickly after each repetition.
DO Visit an Atlanta Chiropractor
The chiropractic team at AICA Orthopedics can give you more tips on stretching while dealing with back pain, and they can get you under chiropractic care that helps reduce and manage your back problems both now and for the future. Contact AICA Orthopedics today to schedule an appointment with an Atlanta chiropractor for your lower back pain.