Exercise to Prevent Lower Back Pain

By Patrick Cameron

You've been looking forward to playing a round of golf with your friends for a week. But now that the big day is here, you don't even know if you can swing a club. Lower back pain is painful and inconvenient, and preventing it is difficult because there can be so many different issues that cause it. You might have strained it while lifting something, or you might have a slipped disk. Whatever the cause, it's probably too late for the round unless some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will do the trick. There are, however, certain exercises that you can do that will help prevent back pain from occurring in the first place.

Stretching

Lower back pain can be caused by a shortening of the back muscles, which throws the spine out of alignment. This can also happen when back muscles, buttock muscles and even quadriceps become tight. Stretching these muscles on a daily basis can help reduce the risk of lower back pain. Pelvic tilts, knees to chest and shoulder, back and arm stretches are good stretching exercises for the lower back.

To do a pelvic tilt, lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your back flat on the floor, tighten the muscles in your buttocks and stomach. Hold for five second and release. For knee-to-chest stretching, start in the same position as a pelvic tilt. Put your hands behind one knee and pull the knee up to your chest and hold it for five seconds. Do this with both legs. Stand up and bend your knee slightly to do a shoulder, back and arm stretch. With your arms extended, interlace your finger and turn your hands so the palms are facing out. Lift your arms as high as you can and hold it for three seconds and then bring them back down.

Strengthening

Building up the lower back muscles is another way to avoid lower back pain. Some of these include the wall squat, leg and arm raises, and the bridge. To do a wall squat, start in a standing position. Face away from the wall with your back flat against it and your abdominal muscles contracted. Slowly lower your body until your thighs form a 90-degree angle from your midsection and hold it for five seconds, then slowly slide back up the wall to a standing position.

To do leg and arm raises, lie on your stomach with your hands extended up. Raise one arm and the opposite leg at the same time. Hold them for three seconds and then do the opposite arm and leg. To do the bridge, roll over so you are lying on your back. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abs and bring your buttocks off the floor. Hold the position for five seconds and then return so your back is flat on the floor.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is a good way to keep away lower back pain. Back pain can be caused by a weak back or simply because of a weight problem, so getting a daily dose of aerobic activity can do wonders. Types of low-impact aerobic workouts include swimming, bicycling and walking. Whichever you chose, do some stretching beforehand. It's smart to warm up before you do anything physical, whether it's an participating in an aerobic activity or playing a round of golf.

About The Author

Patrick Cameron is a freelance writer with 10 years of diverse experience in consumer goods branding, promotions and retail communications. He works out of his home in Denver, Colo. He received his Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from the University of Minnesota.

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