Today, we’re going to be talking about what exercises and therapy are best to get chronic back pain relief. Over the years, chronic back pain is definitely one of the more common issues that my clients seem to have when they walk in the door and start working with me. There are four elements that we need to improve to help relieve chronic back pain. Those are flexibility, balance, strength, and endurance.
Resistance Training Relieves Chronic Back Pain
One of the best therapy modalities that you can do for chronic back pain is resistance training because resistance training has been proven to be one of the only modalities that helps improve all four of these elements at the same time. That’s great news for my clients that are walking into my studio and are coming to private sessions with me because we are working on the Pilates equipment, which is all resistance-based. So, my clients are receiving that resistance-based training. Although, you may not have access to that equipment and that’s ok. There are some exercises you can try at home that can still provide the type of chronic back pain relief you’re looking for.
Next, I’ll review some exercises that can help with your flexibility, balance, and strength. Although, I do recommend that you look outside of your home routine for endurance training. Swimming, for example, is a great low-impact therapy modality that works on improving your endurance.
7 Exercises to Relieve Chronic Back Pain at Home
Flexibilty & Balance
When I first start working with my private clients who have chronic back pain, we begin with improving their flexibility and balance first. Those are the two main key elements that I want to have them become well versed in before moving on to strength training since strength training requires flexibility and balance. If I try to help my clients move straight to strengthening without working on the balance and the flexibility, they’re at a loss already, to begin with, because they don’t have balance or flexibility to help improve the strength. So, I made sure that I included some flexibility and balance exercises in the playlist for you.
Strengthening the Muscles
When it comes time to add in the strengthening exercises, I believe that core strengthening exercises are really important in relieving chronic back pain. Additionally, and exercises that help strengthen the lumbar extensor muscles, especially the multifidus, are as equally important in this process. Those muscles tend to atrophy pretty quickly when you’re experiencing chronic back pain. It also becomes a pretty key step in improving the strength of those lumbar extensors, specifically the multifidus. Hopefully, the exercises I’ve chosen here for you will help improve your flexibility, balance, and strength and (in turn) give you lasting relief.
Feel Better, Not Worse
Now, you want to make sure that the exercises for your chronic back pain are helping you feel better. It is possible that you may feel some discomfort while you’re doing the exercise or you may feel some discomfort for several hours afterward, but you certainly don’t want to feel worse the next day. That’s extremely important. Not every exercise works for every person. We’re all different and are experiencing different levels of chronic back pain in a sense. We all don’t have the same specific symptoms. As you’re doing these exercises, just remember to ‘test and measure’ which ones are helping you feel better (not worse).
Testing & Measuring
What do I mean by test and measure? You are asking yourself, “You know, how do I feel the next day after doing these exercises? Do I feel better? Do I feel worse?” And if you are feeling worse, you definitely want to do the process of elimination, right? So, you will have to test and measure specifically. This means that you want to break down that routine and maybe just do one of the exercises each day so that you can figure out which one(s) may be aggravating you.
Don’t push through the pain. Your body is telling you something if you feel pain, especially the next day. Like I said, you may feel some discomfort while you’re doing it or for a few hours later, but if you are feeling pain the next day, you definitely want to test and measure and do a process of elimination.
I do believe that you’ll get some relief with these exercises. Remember, I do recommend that you still do some endurance training, such as swimming, which is a great example of a therapy that works well for that. Alternatively, also take advantage of an opportunity to do some resistance training. That is one of the best modalities to treat chronic back pain because it improves all four of the elements at the same time. It helps with your balance, endurance, flexibility, and strength.
Finally, I truly hope that these exercises help you find relief because I really want you to be able to get back out there, enjoy life, have some fun, and just go play.