Strengthening Your Lower Back

lower back 3Lower back pain is probably the most common, non-specific discomfort within the entire repertoire of human complaints. Possibly the reason dogs don’t complain of lower back pain is because they don’t stand upright. In fact, stress to the lower back can have several triggers, all due to the fact that the human body needs to hold itself parallel to the ground.

Three Common Causes:

Obesity. An enlarged abdomen puts strain on the back. Extra pounds put undue pressure on all muscles and joints.

Strain. Overuse of muscles, ligaments and joints in the back can cause significant discomfort. If lifting is done improperly, the entire load is taken by the lower back and stiffness or pain results.

Osteoarthritis. This often comes from just getting older. If the arthritis begins in the hips or knees, compensation posture from the pain could cause back discomfort as well.

What can be done about it? Do I just have to live with back pain?
Perhaps, to a certain extent. But simple strengthening of the lower back can give great relief. Try this!

1. Do you sit at work? Constant sitting has been know to reduce the lifespan of human beings, as well as causing atrophy of the back muscles. Make it a habit to rise from your desk and move briskly every two hours. You may be surprised at how little you actually move during the day. Find out the facts! Purchase a pedometer and try to log 10,000 steps per day.

2. Chronic back pain often responds to correct physical therapy. The therapist can prescribe specific exercises that will strengthen the back. Make these exercises a part of daily routine, like brushing teeth. In time, the back may improve significantly.

3. Swim 30 minutes, three times per week. Swimming strengthens back muscles, as well as arms and legs.

4. Start a walking routine. At first, there may be more back discomfort, as the body is not accustomed to walking any distance. Don’t overdo, but set reasonable goals and seek to achieve them. If walking is quite uncomfortable, try walking or jogging in water. This has the disadvantage of looking a bit weird, and goals of a certain number of feet will need to be set to achieve results. However, a significant lowering of back pain will compensate for any questioning glances you may endure.

Often, improved physical fitness is the simple answer to many vague discomforts, as well as back pain. Becoming physically fit takes time management, endurance and appetite control. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is a strong back and body. Don’t quit!