Core Exercises to Relieve or Prevent Back Pain

Lower Back PainToday’s article is brought to you by Dr. David Kulla, a New York city Chiropractor. As an ultra-endurace athlete, I’ve struggled with back pain (mostly lower back pain) at various points throughout my training. I’ve visited massage therapists and chiropractors over the years. Dr. Kulla’s article on core strength training is spot-on, particularly as it relates to not resting too much. Since I’ve started including core-strengthening exercises into my ultra-endurance and triathlon training, I’ve had far far less back issues. Read on for some other fine advice. 

If you are experiencing back pain, the easiest thing you can think of to treat it might be to lie down and rest. This is a good strategy when you first begin to notice the pain. After all, it hurts, and whether you injured yourself in an accident or the pain began showing up as a chronic condition, your first priority is to make it go away. Resting and keeping ice and heat on it might make you feel a little better in the short term, but it’s not going to do much for your long term recovery or for your efforts to prevent the pain from returning. Allow yourself to rest a little bit, but make sure you continue moving. In order to repair your back and make yourself stronger, you will need to do core exercises to strengthen the entire support system of your back. Strengthening your core can both alleviate the back pain you are currently experiencing and prevent it from returning again.

Remember not to do anything terribly strenuous. Talk to your chiropractor. The important thing is to exercise smartly. Overdoing it might make matters worse. Choose exercise that is low impact and easy to manage. You should feel yourself stretching a little bit, but you do not want to exacerbate the physical pain you are already feeling. Be strategic in the type of core exercises you choose.

Start with water exercises. This will provide you will a little less impact on your back and other parts of your body. Instead of running or jumping and supporting your weight as well as any physical movements, the water will make you lighter and better able to move. Take a water aerobics class if you have one available. This type of exercise will strengthen all pertinent parts of your body, from your legs to your back to your shoulders. It will do so while keeping you relatively weightless, which should help your pain and make moving easier. If you cannot find a water exercise class, just find a pool and start swimming. Take slow, steady laps across the pool. You will probably feel your body begin to loosen up immediately. The effects of the water on your back and body will be noticeable and positive.

Try yoga. There are basic yoga poses that will be good for your back and help you strengthen your core. If you have never done yoga before, that’s okay. You are not going to do anything complicated. Sitting and standing in basic yoga poses such as the “Child’s Pose” or the “Warrior Stance” will strengthen your core and show you how to incorporate proper breathing and posture into every movement you make. Remember that yoga also focuses on bringing the mind, body and spirit into alignment for maximum physical and mental health. You can use yoga to begin healing yourself.

If you are not sure where to start, just take a walk. Your goal of getting stronger will help your back feel better. Always stretch and breathe before you begin any physical activity. Get off the couch, and help your back feel better by making your body strong.

dr_kullaDr. David Kulla. Dr. Kulla is a licensed New York City Chiropractor and a nutritionist as well as owner of Synergy Wellness in Manhattan. Dr. Kulla graduated from Life University with a Doctorate in Chiropractic. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Hofstra University. He is certified in Electro-Diagnostics and Physiotherapy. While attending college, he worked as a fitness trainer and worked with the disabled population.  He holds a Diploma from the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, a Certification in Clinical Nutrition and his Certification as a Chiropractic Sports Physician.