Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last post, we discussed arthritis and the ways it can be treated at home. Today, we’ll be talking about back pain and some of the best exercises that can help relieve symptoms. Approximately 16 million adults experience persistent or chronic back pain– That’s 8% of all adults. There are a variety of types and causes of back pain that we’ll be touching on today, as well as exercises that can be done at home to relieve symptoms. If you are interested in learning more, I encourage you to stick around! Let’s get started.
With so many adults suffering from back pain, it is one of the most common reasons that people miss work or go to the doctor. This pain can range from muscle aches to a shooting, burning, or stabbing sensation. There are generally three types of back pain: acute, subacute, and chronic. Acute pain is defined as lasting less than 4 weeks, while subacute pain lasts 4 to 12 weeks, and chronic pain lasts more than 12 weeks. It can happen anywhere in the back and can even radiate down the leg. Sometimes, this pain can worsen when walking, standing, bending, or lifting. It is important to understand the anatomy of the back in order to understand back pain. Let’s take a closer look.
There are five regions of the spine, from top to bottom: Cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, ilia/sacrum, and coccyx. These regions work together to support the body and problems within any of these regions can cause pain. Additionally, there are other parts of the back and spine structures that can cause pain. Other parts of the back and spine include:
Issues with any of these structures or parts of the back or spine can cause pain. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of back pain.
Anyone can suffer from back pain, but there are several factors that may put you more at risk. These factors include age, genetics, fitness level, and job-related factors such as lifting, pushing, or pulling. Underlying issues such as fibromyalgia can also cause back pain. Luckily, there are simple exercises that can help manage and relieve symptoms at home. Here are just a few of them!
Low-impact exercise is gentler on the joints and muscles. One of the most well-known low-impact exercises is walking. Walking is one of the simplest exercises out there and is not only a great cardiovascular exercise, but it is also a great method for preventing and relieving back pain. However, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind in order to get the most out of your walk: Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, walk lightly on your feet, and practice good posture while walking. Stand up straight and tall, let your shoulders relax, and keep your chin parallel to the ground to reduce strain on the neck and back.
Another low-impact exercise is cycling, or bicycling. This is low-impact because it causes less strain than other types of exercise. Bicycling is considered a form of aerobic exercise, which is a type of cardiovascular conditioning– Better known as “cardio” exercise. Bicycling is a popular form of exercise among people with back pain because of how gentle it is on the spine. This can be done on a bicycle, stationary or upright bike, or recumbent bike.
Water aerobics is also great for back pain. In fact, studies have shown that water exercise is great for the joints and muscles, because the buoyancy of the water supports the body’s weight and allows for a greater range of motion.
Lying Lateral Leg Raises
This exercise can not only help minimize back pain but can also strengthen your hip abductor muscles. These muscles help support the pelvis when you are standing on one leg. This exercise involves lying down on one side and keeping your lower leg slightly bent on the ground. Raise the top of your leg without moving the rest of your body and draw your belly button in towards your spine to strengthen your core. Hold this position for 2 seconds and repeat 10 times, and then repeat on the other side. Perform 3 of these sets on each side.
Utilizing light strength training can help keep back muscles strong, which is great since these muscles protect your spine. This can be done by using light weights. Simply stand in place and hold one weight at a time while reaching from your waist down the side of your body. You should stretch as far as you can without pain, and then slowly raise the weight back up. You can repeat this 10 times on each side. This exercise can be done without weights as well.
Knee To Chest
This exercise is particularly good for the lower back. For this exercise, simply lie down on the floor, facing up. Bend your leg and bring it up to your chest while grasping your lower leg, and hold it for 5 to 10 seconds. Then, release, and repeat with the other leg and complete this sequence at least three times. This range-of-motion exercise is a great way to stretch the lower back muscles and develop flexibility. It is particularly beneficial for those with spinal arthritis.
These are just a few of the best exercises for managing and relieving back pain. Oftentimes, exercise works best in conjunction with chiropractic care. Sometimes, back pain can be caused by subluxations. Subluxations are partial dislocations of vertebrae within the spine that can cause interferences in how the brain and body communicates. Since each part of the vertebrae are in close proximity to nerves, subluxations can also lead to neurological conditions due to pressure placed on these nerves. Some of the common symptoms of subluxations involve pain or swelling around a joint, limited mobility, or loss of range of motion. If you are interested in learning more about subluxations, I encourage you to check out my previous blog.
Chiropractic care removes subluxations through spinal adjustments. By removing these interferences, the body can self-regulate and self-heal. This can eradicate a multitude of different types of pain, including back pain. Combining chiropractic care with exercises that are good for back pain can help further relieve and manage pain and help you achieve optimal results. I hope you found this article informative. If you or a loved one are suffering from any type of back pain, you may benefit from chiropractic care. Consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic! We specialize in different chiropractic techniques, as well as both therapeutic and Swedish massage. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
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