It is common knowledge that exercise is good for you. This is true in general but especially as part of a regimen of chiropractic care. Not all of the work important to your back health can be done in the office. But not all back exercises are safe back exercises. It is essential to pay attention to safety, particularly if you have been in an accident or have a condition that puts you at greater risk for injury.
At Springwater Chiropractic, we often give our patients a list of exercises to complete as part of their treatment program. If performed regularly, these exercises not only improve their physical fitness but will also complement their treatment. We have created a list along with a brief description of some simple and safe – but beneficial – exercises below.
It is important that all of these exercises are completed on a solid surface, such as an exercise mat or floor. If while completing any of these exercises you feel any sort of pain or discomfort, stop immediately and speak to a medical professional.
- Exercise 1 – The Pelvic Tilt
- Lie down on your back, and slowly tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles. Your aim is to flatten your back against the floor so that there is as little space as possible. Contract the muscles and slowly count to 4. Then relax the muscles again for a count of four. Take your time when undertaking all of these exercises, there is no rush. Do three sets of six.
The following video may be helpful to illustrate what we are talking about.
- Exercise 2 – Knee To Chest
- Assume the same position as before lying safely on your back on the floor. Slowly bring your right knee up to your chest, and then use your hands to pull your knee down onto your chest. Once your knee is touching your chest (or is as close as you can get it without causing pain), slowly count to four. Then relax for a few seconds. Repeat this exercise with the right knee five more times. Then switch your focus to the left knee and repeat on the left side six times. Finally, bring both knees up together for a count of four, and repeat that six times.
- Exercise 3 – Alternating Prone Leg Lift
- This exercise will target your glutes and lower back. For this exercise, rather than lying on your back, lie on your stomach and put your hands flat on the ground under your chin. Rest your chin on your hands. Slowly turn your right foot out, so that it is facing away from your body and parallel to the floor. Focus your effort on tightening the buttock muscle and slowly raise your right leg . Make sure to keep your leg straight, and try and hold the leg in place for a slow count of four. Once you have finished, lower the leg to the ground. As with the other exercises, repeat this five more times for the right leg, and then switch over to the left leg.
The following video shows essentially the motion that we have described, along with a modification.
- Exercise 4 – Lower Back Strengthening
- Many of us spend too much time sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen. Performing safe back exercises is important to counter the long-term damage that so much sedentary time can cause. This exercise is used to help strengthen your lower back and improve our posture. Once again, lie flat on your stomach. Place your arms on the floor beside your body, palms up. Slowly, raise your chest up from the floor. If you are performing this exercise properly, you should feel the muscles on your lower back tightening up. Aim to hold your chest off the ground for a slow count of four, before slowly letting the chest back down. Take a few seconds break, and then repeat the exercise a total of six times.
Again, the following video will give you an example of what we are talking about (sometimes words just aren’t enough!)
All of the above exercises are low impact and easy to complete for most people who are not struggling with an injury. These safe back exercises are a good start to building your back health, but often more is needed, especially to deal with bodily trauma or problems caused by long-term habits. If you think you need something deeper than what words or even a YouTube video can provide, please contact our office. We would love to talk and help move you toward healing.