According to the World Health Organization, back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and affects more people than some of the most epidemic diseases like diabetes and even malaria. And yet so little is done to help those who suffer day in and day out from this debilitating pain.
In the Unites States alone, lower back pain accounts for 3.15% of all emergency room visits. So why do so many suffer from this chronic pain?
According to a new study published in the Arthritis Care and Research journal, most of the triggers causing lower back pain are avoidable.
The researchers concluded that carrying out manual tasks with awkward posture increases the risk of sparking acute low back pain by 8 times.
The solution? Strengthen your core so as to improve your posture and minimize strain from improper weight distribution.
Part of strengthening your core involves focusing on your buttocks and deep core to help balance.
1. Pelvic Tilting:
- Lying flat on your back with your hands placed by your side, bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground.
- Tighten your lower abdominals to engage your pelvic floor muscles.
- You should feel your stomach draw in towards your spine.
- To help engage these muscles, try reaching your right hand down to touch your heal and repeat on the other side.
- Maintain deep breathing.
2. Half Bridge:
- Starting in the same position as the pelvic tilt, on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground, slowly lift your hips off the floor.
- Keeping your head and shoulders flat on the ground, your lower back will fall in line with your thighs and buttocks.
- You should feel you gluteal and hamstrings tighten.
- Lower and repeat 10 times.
- Lie on your side with your knees slightly bent to maintain balance but keep your head, back and buttocks in line with one another.
- Keeping your ankles flush with one another, slowly raise your top knee.
- You should feel the muscles in your buttocks working and not your hip.
- Repeat 10 times then flip over and do the same for the other side.
4. Hip Twist:
- Starting again on your back with knees bent and a small arch in your lower back, slowly let one leg fall to the side so your knee is close to or touching the ground.
- Keeping your other leg up, maintain pressure into the foot to keep stable.
- Slowly bring your knees back together.
- Repeat 5 times on each leg.
5. 4 Point Kneel:
- Starting in a tabletop position with hands and knees on the floor, tuck chin in and keep abdominals tight towards your spine.
- At the same time, slowly lift your left arm and right leg straight into the air.
- Do not arch the back and keep your body in a straight line.
- Alternate each leg and arm, repeating 5 times on each side.
Always remember to go at you own pace and if you do feel an overt amount of pain, stop the exercise and try something else. Slow and steady wins the race against back pain!
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