People often think of themselves fit and capable of just about anything until their back goes out. Then the frailty of the human body becomes apparent, particularly when sharp back pain limits any real movement or strain.
After recovery, affected people remember that pain and then become hesitant to try new things out of fear of being hurt again. That can lead to laziness and weakening of the back muscles, the key components that prevent back injury in the first place.
Back ailments are common. Herniated discs, pulled back muscles and pinched back nerves are common. Worse, pinpointing what is really causing a back problem can be challenging for doctors as case oftentimes have no tell-tale signs, such as bruising or lumps.
Patients often complain of being ignored or feeling like they are not believed by a care provider, even when in serious pain. This is why daily strengthening of one’s back when healthy is so critical. It provides one of the best prevention methods for a hurt back in the first place.
Here are five exercises that really work and produce big benefits for a health back system:
- Sleep Right with Good Support – A back system can’t properly repair itself and strengthen if it is not fully relaxed and rested. So how one sleeps is very important to being able to exercise later on with good results. That means utilizing a good bed mattress with comfortable support. Sagging beds, couches, futons and similar end up causing the back to kink and bend wrong when sleeping, causing backaches.
- Belly and Side Lifts – We’re all familiar with sit ups, but the back can be exercised from the side and in reverse as well. One just needs to lay on a flat surface on the chest or on the side and then slowly but methodically lift a few inches. Don’t over exert, only a little is needed with regular exercises in at least three sets of five or ten lifts to really get a workout. The idea is to use gravity as the weight, and lift the body slightly with the back. Doing so works the back muscles and core tremendously each time.
- Leg Lifts – Those two legs are the heaviest limbs of the body, so the back and stomach can be worked heavily with leg lifts. Again, laying on the ground, the body core is kept still while the legs are lifted in pairs or individually. Each approach causes the core muscles to work to create the lift that the legs muscles pull against to be raised.
- Standing Back Lifts – Similar to the floor-based approach, in this case the person stands and from the waist leans forward. Then, the back is worked reversing the motion slowly and pulling the upper body back upward. Be careful not to fall over and to go slow. Fast jerky movements usually just result in a pulled back muscle, which should be avoided.
- Walking or Stair Climbing With a Load – With the use of a backpack loaded with progressively heavier weight and a good walking path or stair system one can give their back a really good workout. The idea here is the build up load endurance carrying weight. The back will respond over time if the weight and distance are increased slowly but consistently. No one should try to “hero” the exercise with extreme exertion. Instead, the goal is to slowly build up the back to do more and more week after week. Rest is critical for repair in between.
Protecting one’s back is about building strength and endurance capability. When back muscles are strong, they are far more resilient when exposed to shock or sharp twisting, the causes of most back injuries.
Regular exercise provides flexibility and the ability to have good back health far longer in life. Do don’t shirk your back; work it out instead.