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Fighting Back Pain

According to the experts, one of the best ways to combat back pain is to go on the offensive. Weak muscles are often the root of back pain, especially lower back pain. So by building up the muscles in your back, abdomen and buttocks, you could help prevent, reduce or eliminate back pain. But remember, always check with your physician before beginning an exercise program.

Back Stretching Exercises

Pelvic Tilt

Pelvic Tilt: lower back stretching exercise

Lie on back, knees bent, feet flat on floor. Tighten buttocks and abdomen, flattening small of back against the floor. Hold for a count of five. Slowly relax.

Repeat five to fifteen times.

Knee to Chest

Knee to Chest: Gluteal stretching exercise

Lie on back, knees bent, feet flat on floor. Grasp left leg behind the knee and pull knee towards left shoulder. Hold for a count of five. Switch sides.

Repeat five times.

The Cat

The Cat: back stretching exercise

Begin on all fours, hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips. Inhale as you drop tummy towards the floor and look up over your head. Exhale as you bring your tummy back up, rounding your back as you tuck your chin in and tuck your tailbone in. Move slowly back and forth between these two positions pausing on each pose.

Repeat about five times.


Back Strengthening Exercises

The Bridge

The Bridge: for several core muscle groups

Lie flat on back; bend knees at 90-degree angle, feet flat on floor. Raise buttocks off floor, keeping abs tight (you can activate these abs by coughing – concentrate on contracting those muscles). Shoulder to knees should be in straight line. Hold for a count of five. Slowly lower buttocks to floor.

Repeat five times.

The Plank

The Plank: for back and abdomen (also strengthens arms and legs)

Lie on stomach, place elbows and forearms on floor. In push-up position, balance on your toes and elbows. Keep your back straight and legs straight, like a plank. Hold position for 10 seconds. Relax. If this exercise is too difficult, use balance on your knees instead of your toes.

Repeat five to ten times.

Partial Sit-Up

Partial Sit-Up: for lower abdomen

Lie on back, knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Tighten your abdominals and buttocks, keeping your back in a neutral position. Tuck chin in and flatten neck. Reach arms to feet, raising shoulder blades off floor. Hold 15 counts.

Repeat five times.

The Wall Squat

The Wall Squat: for back, hips and legs

Stand with your back against a wall, heels about 18 inches from the wall, feet shoulder-width apart. Slide slowly down the wall into a crouch with knees bent to about 90 degrees. If this is too difficult, bend knees to 45 degrees and gradually build up from there. Count to five and slide back up the wall.

Repeat five times.

Leg Lifts

Leg Lifts: lower abdominal exercise

Lie flat on back. Lift leg about 45 degrees, hold for 3 seconds, and switch sides.

Repeat ten times.



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