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5 Chiropractic Exercises to Alleviate Low Back Pain

Reduce pain and re-energize with these stretches.

2019-10-02 | By: Dr. Gerald Ferencz

If you experience lower back pain, you’re not alone. In fact, around 80% of Americans will suffer from this condition at some point in their lives.

But there is good news! Decreasing and even eliminating lower back pain can be accomplished by doing a few simple exercises each day. They only take a few minutes but they can dramatically reduce the tension that is causing you pain. 

<h2> How Do These Exercises Alleviate Low Back Pain?

You might have heard that to avoid lower back pain, you need to strengthen your core. While this is true, it’s not the only way to alleviate pain. Simply stretching out your spine with these exercises is enough to offload quite a bit of tension. That means you can achieve pain-free days without having to do a million crunches.

<h2> Here’s how it works:

As we age, our spine gets weighed down by gravity (and cheeseburger consumption!). This causes our spinal discs to press together, kind of like the spirals of a spring. When this happens, tension is increased, flexibility is decreased, and pain lets us know something is wrong.

By performing these exercises (which have been proven effective by not only chiropractors but by yoga instructors and trainers around the globe), you can lengthen the spine and create more space between the discs. This will automatically offload built up pressure and allow you to return to a pain-free state of flexibility. Now let’s take a look.

<h2> Child’s Pose

The Child’s Pose is one of the best exercises to stretch the spine. It’s also one of the most relaxing. 

  • Start by sitting on your knees (preferably on a mat) with your feet tucked under your backside.
  • Extend your arms out in front of you as far as you can and bring your upper body to the floor (as if you were worshiping the ancient chiropractic gods).
  • Touch your forehead to the floor and make sure your feet and hips don’t move.
  • Hold this position for 5 minutes.

The Child’s Pose will elongate your spine and release built-up tension. It’s also a great way to relieve stress after a long day. Put on some relaxing music, assume this pose, and enjoy a few quiet moments while relieving your back pain. Just be careful not to fall asleep!

<h2> Lumbar Rotation

This chiropractic exercise involves twisting the lower spine to improve flexibility and release tension. It takes even less time than the child’s pose and it feels great.

  • Lie down with your back on the floor and your knees bent.
  • Spread your arms out on either side and anchor your back to the floor.
  • Slowly bring both of your knees to the floor on your right side without moving your back. Hold for 15 seconds.
  • Bring both knees slowly back up to the starting position and then do the same on the left side.
  • Repeat three times.

The Lumbar Rotation exercise is also a great stretch if you’re planning on strengthening your core at the gym.

<h2> Pelvic Tilt

Moving on to another core training exercise, the pelvic tilt hardly requires you to move at all. In my opinion, that’s the best kind of exercise!

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and put your hands behind your head.
  • Notice that the arch of your back is not touching the floor.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles (flex) while pushing your back into the floor so there is no space between it and the surface of the floor.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 12 times.

This exercise is an incredibly easy way to strengthen your core. It might make you sweat a bit more than the other exercises on this list, but it’s a very non-dynamic way to increase strength and take pressure off the spine. Essentially, this is an abs exercise that anyone can do.

<h2> Knee to Chest

This exercise is almost self-explanatory, but make sure to pay careful attention to the following steps so it benefits both your spine and your hips.

  • Lie on your back with your legs down.
  • Bend one knee and grab it with your hands, lacing your fingers around it.
  • Pull it up to your chest as if you were trying to bring it to your opposite shoulder (stretch as far as you comfortably can).
  • Hold for 45-60 seconds.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Do this three times.

Flexible hips are important for support, balance, and flexibility. This exercise will strengthen them while also taking pressure off your spine.

<h2> Cobra Pose

The Cobra Pose not only has a cool name, but it will help keep your spinal discs separate and limber.

  • Lie face down on the floor with your legs together.
  • Put the palms of your hands on the floor next to your chest.
  • Slowly push yourself up until your upper body is facing forward, but keep your hips and lower body touching the floor.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat five times.

If you ever find yourself putting your hands on your hips and leaning back to relieve back pain, the Cobra Pose will feel familiar. It’s a wonderful way to counter the effects of being hunched over all day. 

<h2> 15 Minutes for Freedom from Low Back Pain

Back pain is reducing the quality of life of millions of Americans, but there is a way to fix it. All of the exercises on this list can be done in less than 15 minutes a day and you’ll start feeling the benefits almost immediately.

If you’re ready to be free from back pain and live life feeling years younger, incorporate these 5 chiropractic exercises for low back pain into your daily routine.

Author Bio: Dr. Gerald Ferencz is a licensed chiropractic physician and Active Release Therapy certified practitioner at Performance Rx Sports Care. He attended California State University Northridge earning a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology and Biomechanics and graduated with his Doctor of Chiropractic with Cum Laude honors from SCUHS. When Dr. Ferencz is not helping patients or training for events, he is developing the next generation of champion athletes in swimming and triathlons.

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