If you’ve got back pain you are not alone. It’s the fifth most common reason that folks visit their doctors, according to the University of Illinois. Back pain often is the result of an imbalance between your muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding the spine, or poor spine alignment, such as having a flat low-back curve. When your spine’s natural curves are flattened for a long period of time, your tendons, ligaments and muscles adapt by weakening or tightening, according to UI. If you have a flat low-back curve, you can do exercises that help alleviate your condition.
Perform three daily sets of hamstring and abdominal stretches to alleviate strain from a flat low back, advises UI. To stretch your hamstrings, lie with one thigh pulled up toward your waist and your other leg resting on the floor. Keep your knee bent and pointed to the ceiling. Slowly straighten your knee, holding your thigh with your hands, until you feel a gentle hamstring stretch. Hold the stretch for a count of two. Perform three sets of 10 to 20 repetitions. Stretch your abdomen by lying on an exercise ball on your back. Relax your abdomen, keep your feet on the floor and ensure your back is fully supported. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds, advises Sports Injury Clinic on the Net.
Utilize the “Superman” exercise to strengthen your low back. Lie on your stomach with your arms extended overhead and toes pointing away from your shins. Exhale and tighten your abdominal muscles. Slowly raise your arms and both of your legs off the ground a couple of inches. Keep both arms and legs extended as you lift, as if you are reaching to the walls in front of you and behind you. Hold briefly. Inhale gently and slowly lower your arms and legs. Do not allow movement in your hips or low back, advises the American Council on Exercise. If working all of your limbs at the same time is too difficult or too painful, you can raise one arm at a time and then one leg at a time, advises UI. Progress to raising your right leg and left arm at the same time, then your left leg and right arm at the same time.
To improve your lower back arch, stand 1 foot from a wall, stretch your arms overhead and bend backward until you touch the wall, advise Harold J. Reilly and Ruth Hagy Brod in their book, “The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Health Through Drugless Therapy.” Increase your distance from the wall when you are able.
Back Arching Exercise
To improve your back curve and loosen your spine, lie on the floor with a medicine ball under the small of your back. Roll your lower back over the ball gently. Move about 1 foot and do six repetitions. Add three repetitions a week until you get up to 18, advise Reilly and Brod. Follow this exercise by lying on the floor with your knees bent and feet planted on the ground. Arch your back. Your feet stay on the ground. Your supporting weight is on your shoulders and buttocks.