Exercises to stop back pain, from planks to pelvic tilts

Exercises to stop back pain, from planks to pelvic tilts

  • Back pain usually comes from spinal compression, according to physical therapist Dr. Casey Coleman.
  • He said exercises that strengthen the muscles that support the back can help decompress the spine.
  • Planks and pelvic tilts are two exercises that can help relieve back tension, he said.

Back pain you may want to stop moving, but exercise is one of the best ways to relieve and prevent back pain, according to a physical therapist and Co-founder before PT Grind Casey Coleman.

Coleman said spinal cord compression is the most common reason he sees people have back pain. Compression usually comes from sitting or standing for too long, as well as activities that compress the back, he said. The best thing you can do to prevent back pain is to exercise the muscles that support your back and decompress your spine.

Decompress the spine

Coleman said spinal cord compression can be made worse by activities that increase the compression, such as lifting heavy objects.

Exercises like overhead press, deadlift, and the back squat also compresses the back in a way that can make the pain worse. If you already experience back pain, consider avoiding these exercises.

Anything that decompresses the spine can be beneficial for back pain, he said. Water aerobics removes the force of gravity on your spine as you move. Hanging from a pull-up bar or having someone pull your legs while holding onto something can also help.

Planks remove tension from the back

Another way to relieve back pain is to strengthen the muscles that support the back, Coleman said.

Planks strengthen muscles into the abdominal muscles. A strong core distributes the weight of your upper body more evenly, he said, which reduces spinal cord compression.

Bird dogs build core and glute strength

Coleman said psi birds strengthen your core as well as your gluteal muscles, which support your back.

To perform the exercise, start in a table position with your back straight and your head facing down. Extend your left arm and right leg back and hold that position for a few seconds, before bringing both back down. Repeat with the right arm and left leg.

The balancing act required to perform bird dogs builds a strong, stable core, he said. Leg raises also build the gluteal muscles, which support the base of your back.

Pelvic tilts strengthen the foundation of your spine

Pelvic tilts work the glutes and pelvis, Coleman said, which are the foundation of the spine. The spine is much better supported when they are strong.

Pelvic tilt is performed lying on your back with your feet on the ground and knees bent. Press your lower back into the floor by squeezing your abdominal muscles and gently moving your hips towards your head. Hold for a few seconds before returning to the starting position.

If you’re not in the mood to exercise, Coleman said the best thing you can do to relieve back pain is to take a walk or change your posture. Walking or changing the way you sit can reduce the pressure on the muscles that support your back and bring you quick relief, he said.

If you’re worried about back pain, it’s always best to talk to your doctor or physical therapist. While exercise can help relieve back pain in many cases, there are numerous causes that require professional attention, Coleman said.

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