3 Exercises to Prevent Back Pain

Take a moment to think about the day of an average American.  We wake up and get ready for the day, sit in the car on the way to work, sit at work all day, sit in the car on the way home, and then spend the rest of the night sitting on the couch.  This day of sitting can lead to a lot of extra force applied to the back, specifically it increases the pressure within the discs of the low back.  In fact, sitting causes an intradiscal pressure increase of 40% compared to standing.  Sitting slouched increases the pressure by 90%. 

Unnecessary pressure and wear on the discs can cause a myriad of issues.  Most commonly it can lead to weakening of the disc causing an increased risk of disc injury.  Prolonged wear and tear can lead to earlier onsets of disc and joint degeneration or arthritis.

So how do you limit your risk for these conditions?  Try to limit your sitting throughout the day.  Having the option to switch your workstation from sitting to standing can help with prevention.  Also, work on strengthening, stretching, and stabilizing the back. 

Here are 3 exercises that can help prevent back pain:

1.  Cat and Camel:  This exercise allows the spine to be fully flexed and then fully extended.  This can cause a pumping action that can help to rehydrate the disc while providing a nice stretch to the muscles that tighten up with prolonged sitting.  

2.  Bird Dog:  This exercise is meant for core stability.  The core is built more to provide sustained contractions and stabilization and less for force production movements like sit-ups and crunches.  Your core consists of your abs, glutes, and back.  

To do this exercise, start with your hands and knees on the ground.  Extend one of your arms out in front of you as far as you can while extending the opposite leg behind you.  Hold that position for 3 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.  Repeat this for 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.  

To do this exercise, start with your hands and knees on the ground.  Extend one of your arms out in front of you as far as you can while extending the opposite leg behind you.  Hold that position for 3 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.  Repeat this for 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.  

3. Dead Bug:  Much like the Bird Dog, this exercise is meant to provide stabilization of the core.  

To do this exercise, start with both arms and bent legs in the air.  Slowly lower one arm and the opposite leg to just above the floor.  Hold that position for 3 seconds and return slowly to the starting position.  Repeat this for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.  

To do this exercise, start with both arms and bent legs in the air.  Slowly lower one arm and the opposite leg to just above the floor.  Hold that position for 3 seconds and return slowly to the starting position.  Repeat this for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.  

By making these exercises a part of your routine, along with seeing us at Nashville Chiropractic, you can help strengthen the core and decrease your chances of back issues.  If you have any questions or would like a demonstration, feel free to call, email, or stop by the office.