Feel an unwelcome twinge in your low back every now and again? You’re not alone. Researchers estimate that 8 out of 10 of us will grapple with low back issues at some point in our lives. Treating those twinges, aches and shooting pains—and preventing them from happening in the first place—often comes down to one thing: exercise.
We went to Sharecare experts and rounded up their best exercise solutions to three common causes of back pain.
1. Relax-the-back moves for stress
Wanting to tear your hair out after being asked to oversee just one more teensy weensy project can leave you hurting, and not just emotionally. Stress causes muscle tension in your neck and low back, leaving you stiff and sore, says neurophysiologist Angela Mark, MD. The antidote? Moves that relax your lower back, like the ones in this 5-minute workout from Elite Trainer Joel Harper.
2. Posture improvers for bad posture
If you’re chained to a desk all day, we’re talking to you. Sitting in front of a computer for hours on end can lead to seriously poor posture, says chiropractor Steven Shoshany—and that can cause damage to your spine. Fight back by doing a few of these posture exercises. And keep an eye on how you carry your body during the day. “Pay attention to your posture, whether you’re picking up children or swinging a golf club,” say the experts at the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Better body alignment now means less back pain down the road.
3. Shore-your-core moves for a weak midsection
Having a wobbly midsection can determine so much more than whether or not your belly droops unbecomingly over your waistband. Low back pain is often caused by a weak core, say the experts at NASM. Strengthen your core with these exercises. And watch this video to hear Vonda Wright, MD, reveal simple, no-exercise ways to strengthen your core when you’re at work.
How much do you know about back pain and how to prevent or treat it? Take our quiz and find out.
Have you had low back pain? How did you get rid of it? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
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File under: Fit Friday