The recent Physician Update publication, recommended that those suffering from back pain to utilize exercise as a way to relieve some of the pain. Once spinal issues, such as herniated disks, have been ruled out, the article suggested that increasing a patient’s daily movement could reduce low back pain (LBP). This may be because those with LBP also experience issues related to trunk strength, reduced flexibility and limited endurance. The implementation of a daily exercise regimen could help to target and improve these problem areas, thereby resulting in a decrease of low back pain. In a 2017 study, researchers found that, regarding pain reduction in patients with non-specific low back pain, where serious pathology or radicular syndrome have been ruled out, core stabilization exercises were more effective than routine physical therapy. The results of their study found that subjects placed in the core stabilization group showed a decrease in pain.
In addition to improving strength and flexibility, exercising can increase blood flow to the back, reduce weight, and also release endorphins which can block pain and improve mental outlook. Health Care Associates of Texas, listed the following exercises as beneficial for those suffering from non-specific low back pain:
- Partial sit-ups or crunches can help strengthen stomach and back muscles if done right. Try crossing arms in front of your chest instead of behind your neck. Focus on stomach and back muscles to raise your torso off the floor. Just a few inches will do; there’s no need to lift all the way up to a vertical position.
- Hip bridge works muscles in a similar manner as crunches. Lie flat on your back with hands to your sides, and slide your heels under the knees toward your gluteals. Then lift hips off the floor to align with the torso and thighs, holding for several seconds.
- Legs on the wall strengthens the thighs while relaxing the back. Lie on your back with buttocks close to the wall, then slide feet up the wall until legs are extended. If the hamstrings are tight, move the buttocks away from the wall until comfortable.