Lower back pain is incredibly common, and can be debilitating. But it’s exercise, not rest that can have the most positive impact.
You can get back pain from bad posture, sitting at a desk all day and not moving enough.
If you have a back injury, be sure to speak to your GP before you undertake any specific treatment, but if it’s hurting from sitting and not stretching enough, there are a few great exercises that will really help your condition.
By stretching your back, you can encourage better posture and if you practise better posture then your back will get stronger. Your goal is to keep your spine neutral and aligned at all times.
A good place to start is with some slow and gentle stretching.
The cat stretch is a lovely one to start with, and is practised a lot in yoga. It involves starting on all fours and starting with your back dipped towards the floor, slowly lift your back in an arch and tuck your chin to your chest.
Bridges are another good one for the lower back – start by lying on the floor or on a mat, and with your arms straight and palms face down flat on the floor, keep your feet pushed into the mat and begin to peel your back up and away from the mat. Only go as far as you feel is comfortable for you.
Regular walking or swimming sessions are also great for the lower back as they’re low impact exercises, which encourages you to move correctly and to not over compensate with other muscles in the body.
In the winter, why not get to the gym and try a gentle walk on the treadmill if you’d rather be inside?
Keep everything gentle to start with, and as you feel your back strengthening, then you can start to build up your level of exercise.
yes, the abs definitely matter to support the back - trouble is if the abs are weak it can be tricky to strengthen them without causing back problems. Patience needed to build it all up.
As far as I've read, lower back pain can be alleviated by strengthening the abdominals, so I would focus on that as well as the stretching.
wise words - keep moving and gentle stretches. And I hate to say it, but too much weight round the front also doesn't help!
My partner does regular yoga including the cat pose and bridges and she has never suffered from back pain. I really do think prevention is better than cure.