exercises for lower back pain

Broadly speaking, exercises for lower back pain fall into three categories:

  1. Exercises to relieve a spine in acute pain
  2. Exercises to decompress the spinal segments

  3. Exercises to strengthen spinal control, both abdominal & intrinsic muscles

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exercises for relieving lower back pain

When a problem back is locked in crisis, almost too rigid to move, it's important to get the spinal segments gliding and jostling past one another again. Getting even the smallest degree of segmental movement helps to evacuate the toxic build-up of 'inflammatory soup' retained within the intervertebral discs, which is a potent source of pain. Just as important is draining away swollen engorgement trapped within the joint capsules of the facet joints at the problem level. 

Appeasing exercises for lower back pain are also aimed at reducing the clench of muscles that are guarding the back and preventing segmental movement. 

Watch Sarah explain how to appease your spine in the 'Back Pain Relief Video Package'

Woman with muscle spasm

You will read in the section on back spasms  that the large cable muscles either side of the spine have a habit or guarding too vigilantly, changing from nurse to nemesis.

The erector spinae muscles can lock down the base of the spine on the pelvis, making it rigid.

Not only does this prevent the normal, cleansing blood flowing through the facet joints and fluid flow through the discs, it causes pain in the muscles themselves. 

The 2 most effective exercises for Relieving lower back pain

1. Knees Rocking

It's hard to believe you can be doing any good with this exercise, it's that simple. Yet, it's gentle for good reason; the whole idea is to lull the back muscles off duty and to pump away fluid engorgement trapped in and around the spinal joints. It's meant to be so calming it almost makes you go to sleep.   

Knee rocking exercise for lower back pain

2. Spinal Rolling

On the other hand, this exercise is quite difficult to do well. It takes quite some strength of your abdominal muscles, and is as much work for the front of your neck as anywhere else. Keep the chin tucked down and your legs out long to get better leverage and to make it easier

You can read more about this here on 'Exercises on How to Relieve Pain'. Or instead, you can download the video package How to Do Spinal Appeasing. The video shows Sarah demonstrating these two exercises and how subtley and un-hurriedly they should be done.  

2. spinal decompression
exercises for lower back pain

There is much to read on this website about spinal decompression.

Do it yourself spinal decompression is a cornerstone of the Sarah Key Method. It is one of the most important exercises for lower back pain since the converse ~ spinal compression, or sustained spinal loading ~ is ever-present during your upright daylight hours from the weighing-down effects of gravity. The spine is also clenched by the compressive action of skeletal muscles. 

A big factor in sustained loading is excessive hours of sitting. The static under-activity of sitting squeezes fluid from the discs and makes it harder to recoup and circulate fresh nutritional fluids. In this way, sustained loading directly influences the ability of lumbar discs to heal and repair.

all about the spinal decompression
exercises for lower back pain

The BackBlock Regime

There are several pages in this website on different aspects of using a BackBlock in the 'pressure change therapy' regime. The 3 steps of this regime using the BackBlock are the most important exercises for lower back pain. Read Spinal Decompression and How to Use the BackBlock where there are several other sub-pages on the BackBlock highlighted at the end of the page 

You may wish to download the video package How to Do Your Own Spinal Decompression where you can see the three steps demonstrated by Sarah. Lots of patients re-play this video over and over as they're doing their own BackBlock routine at home. 

3. spinal control
exercises for lower back pain

Three important things happen to the muscles controlling the spine in the presence of lower back pain, in both the chronic and acute stages.

  1. The long cable-like muscles either side of the spine become over-active

  2. The deep & middle layers of the abdominal muscles become under-active

  3. The small intrinsic muscles controlling each individual vertebrae get weaker

As you might imagine this poses quite serious problems for the back, with over-activity of the long back muscles fuelling and perpetuating under-activity (and weakness) of the other two groups ~ so that a stalemate ensues as the slow decline of spinal function sets in.

With increasing weakness there's increasing insecurity and loss of confidence in the back's ability to lift and do everyday bendy things and the back gets painfully more rigid. 

In a nutshell, not bending properly is why bad backs deteriorate and the pain becomes steadily more crippling. 

The appeasing exercises switch off the over-active cable muscles.
The BackBlock regime decompresses the spinal segments and restores lower abdominal strength, making it safer to bend comfortably

the 2 most important spinal control exercises for lower back pain

1. Reverse Curls-Ups

There are several pages on this website on strengthening the lower abs as important exercises for lower back pain. Basically, it involves a knees-to-chin action in preference to the popularly accepted actions of 'sit-ups' and 'crunches'. 

2. Strengthening of the 
Spinal Intrinsics 

Contrary to what you might think, learning to bend again and moving normally is one of the most therapeutic things you can do for a problem back. Spinal bending strengthens the small intrinsics muscles (multifidus) that attach to each individual vertebra and keep them stable. 

Apart from bending properly being one of the best ways to strengthen the spine naturally, it also gives the low lumbar discs a drink, especially if you drop all the way down as shown in this graphic, and hang there like a gorilla for a moment or two. 

» » Exercises for Lower Back

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