When you’re in pain, exercise may sound like the last thing you want to do. Whether you suffer from chronic pain or are experiencing back pain after a car accident, it may be hard to think about moving even more. But regular, safe movement is actually a critical part of your healing and will almost always be recommended by your Jonesboro chiropractor. However, this may not mean an intense workout routine, but instead will be about adding flexibility and strength back to your daily life. Always follow the advice of your chiropractor, but below are some common exercises that can help relieve pain and promote recovery.
With any exercise, it’s critical to warm up beforehand to prepare the body. In the case of back exercises, you will want to ensure the spine is properly lubricated for movement. Just two minutes of gentle movement can make all the difference. The classic yoga pose cat/cow is commonly recommended for this.
To perform cat/cow, start on all fours on the ground, making sure your hands are below your shoulders and your knees are below your hips. First, lift your chin and drop your belly towards the ground- this is the “cow” portion of the post. Hold for about 10 seconds. Contract your stomach muscles and round your back upward, like an angry cat, while tilting your head down until you can see your thighs. Hold for ten seconds. You can flow between these two poses while breathing in and out before all exercises.
The muscles surrounding your spine naturally stiffen over time, and this can be worsened by injury or trauma like a car accident. This can lead to reduced mobility and worsened pain over time, which is why it’s critical to help the spine maintain flexibility. Spinal twists lubricate the spine, strengthen the back muscles, and encourage a better range of mobility.
To begin a spinal twist, lie on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees in the air. Lower both knees to your right and hold for fifteen seconds, then return to center. Repeat by lowering both knees to the left and holding. Alternate between both positions for 2 to 3 minutes.
Your core muscles aren’t only about having a six-pack: strong core muscles hold the spine in place, preventing poor posture and compression of the lumbar spine.
For a simple crunch, lie on the ground (or a yoga mat). Keep your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees so they are in the air. Contract your abdominal muscles and lift your upper body off the floor, then hold for ten seconds. When lowering to the ground, be sure to control your movement rather than simply falling back. Repeat 20 times.
To strengthen your spine and improve posture, you can use this yoga pose.
Lie on your stomach on a hard surface with your elbows under your shoulders. Extend your hands in front of you, palms facing down. Set your feet slightly apart. Engage your lower back, glutes, and thighs while you lift your head and chest off the ground; breathe deeply while still staying strong in your abdominals, pressing your pelvis into the floor. Hold for up to one minute. Sometimes simple strengthening exercises can be effective for back pain as well.
One of the best exercises when you’re injured is simply getting in the pool. The water means that all movement is low impact on your body, so you can enjoy it even if you aren’t able to do much in the way of physical activity. If you are able, you can also do simple aerobic exercise while in the water to increase blood flow to the back’s muscles. This helps them to recover from any injury while adding strength. Hold onto the edge of the pool while kicking your legs, walk through the water, or do a simple breaststroke.
Combine Exercise with Professional Care
Most back pain has a root that needs to be addressed by more than exercise. These practices are best done under the supervision of a chiropractor who can assess your spine and help determine the best route of healing for you. At AICA Jonesboro, our chiropractors are ready to help create a routine that works for you, whether you’ve recently been in a car accident or you have suffered from chronic pain for years. Contact us today to schedule your first consultation and begin working towards a life without back pain.