Effective Methods To Deal With Lower Back Pain

4 min read

Effective Methods To Deal With Lower Back Pain

Truth be told, almost every adult will experience some kind of lower back pain in their lifetime. This is a very unfortunate fact, though there are certain healthy lifestyle changes we can make to reduce the pain or even prevent it from happening.

The key is physical exercise!

I know, I know, Isn’t that just the answer to everything?

Yet those who experience lower back pain on a regular basis tend to avoid strenuous exercise or activities because of the fear of their back getting worse.

Can you agree?

*Before we go any further, if you suffer from chronic lower back pain on a regular basis I recommend you seeking a health care professional’s advice in regards to exercise.* 

Okay, got it!

So first things first, let’s cover some of the benefits of exercise for treating lower back pain.
Exercise can help:

- Strengthen the muscles that support the spine, removing pressure from the spinal discs and facet joints.
- Reduces stiffness by keeping the connective fibres of ligaments and tendons flexible.
- Reduces and maintains a healthy weight range which will relieve back pressure.
- Relieves stress and keeps hormones balanced.

Some exercises that help with relieving lower back pain, just to name a few:

- Walking
- Swimming
- Aerobics
- Yoga

Exercises that that strengthen the lower back include:

- Deadlifts
- Squats
- Lat pull-downs
- Seated cable row
- Hip thrust/Hip bridges
- Superman hold
- Plank (and other core exercises)

The goal of back strengthening exercises is to condition the muscles to better support the spine and withstand stress, which can lead to both back and neck pain relief.

Stretches that help to relieve Lower Back Pain, just to name a few:

Cat-Camel Stretch:
On your hands and knees, slowly alternate between arching and rounding your back so that all three sections of your spine-lumbar (lower), thoracic (middle) and cervical (upper)-extend together and then flex together. Do this slowly and gently, and don’t force it. One cycle will take three to four seconds.

Cat-Camel Stretch

Supine Cross-Leg Spinal Twist:

Laying on your back, stretch your arms out to your sides. Cross your right knee over your left knee, with your right foot off the floor and shift your hips to the right. (Come to a natural stop whenever your range of motion is finished.) Place your hand on your knee and push it down to the floor so you can feel the stretch in your glutes. Turn your head to the opposite direction with your other arm still out to your side.

Knee to Chest Stretch:
Lie on the back with your knees bent and both heels on the floor, then place both hands behind both knees and pull them both to your chest, stretching the gluteus and piriformis muscles in the buttock.

Knee to Chest Stretch

Piriformis Muscle Stretch:
Lie on the back with knees bent and both heels on the floor. Cross one leg over the other, resting the ankle on the bent knee, and then gently pull the bottom knee toward the chest until a stretch is felt in the glutes.

Piriformis Muscle Stretch

These are great stretches to do before conducting physical activity or when you are at home and feeling a little stiff in the back. These stretches should be done every day to keep mobile.

Excellent, so keep doing the exercises and stretches we mentioned and see if you have an improvement in your mobility and reduced lower back.

To wrap this up I would like to share an amazing story about Lindy Barber a Cross Fitter who has qualified for the CrossFit Games twice, and now competing on a team aiming to be back to back CrossFit Games champs.

Lindy Barber has gone through some extreme troubles with her lower back.

Lindy Barber

In 2011 - the start of the CrossFit opens. It was Lindy Barber’s first time competing.

Weeks 1 and 2 were going well for Lindy, as she was sitting pretty well on the leader board.

During week 3 she was training and doing her back squats when all of the sudden she got down to the bottom of one of her squats and felt a snap in her back and collapsed! 

She was told the news that she had 3 spinal conditions: scoliosis, spina bifida and a fractured L5 vertebra (spondylolisthesis).

Holy Moly right?

After getting an MRI, the Spinal doctor told her that she would never be able to squat again, and that lifting weights was out of the question.

Could you imagine the pain Lindy would have felt hearing this news?

She rested for 6 months, wore a bone stimulator every day and did not exercise at all, hoping for some bone growth and healing in her spine.

After the 6 months she went and got another MRI and was told that this is her life now, she needed to choose what to do with it and that she would be in pain every day.

She wrestled with this decision, but being an exercise science major, she knew that gaining strength in the muscles surrounding her vulnerable spine would help to keep it safe and as protected as possible. She also knew that she was going to have to go back to square 1, start over with all of the movements and be slow and steady in her recovery.

And that’s exactly what Lindy did.

Every day was a struggle both physically and mentally overcoming the fear of re-injury, and the new start of her much harder athletic career.

Fast forward to 5 years later- Lindy qualified for the CrossFit Games twice. She competed in a team aiming to be back to back CrossFit Games champs. – Anything is possible!

Lindy Barber is a FREAK ATHLETE.

Lindy Barber

Shop The Signature Series

Leave a comment