Two Exercises to Strengthen Your Back
By Debra Rodzinak
Recently, I have begun a vigorous exercise program and my back is sore! I realize that the reason for my soreness is from a weak core. A strong back can better protect my spine from injury, so I want to perform core exercises that strengthen my back. Flexibility and strength training focused on my back will actually help with my sore back.
There are many different exercises that can strengthen the supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the spinal column. An added benefit is that it also strengthens the stomach, gluteus, and hip muscles. When strengthened, these core muscles provide relief from back pain because they keep the spine supported and in proper alignment. They also help with the twisting movements of the spine.
Named after a physical therapist in New Zealand, McKenzie exercises are a series of extension exercises that contract the core muscles and use arm motions to extend or lengthen the spine and bring stability to the body’s trunk. It is thought that these types of exercises help with herniated discs and reduce pressure on nerve roots.
Other ailments that McKenzie exercises help are disc herniation with associated leg pain and degenerative disc disease. It was found that those who suffer from leg pain due to back issues could move the pain from the leg to the back where the pain was more tolerable. Then, the back pain could be addressed with alternative nonsurgical therapies such as chiropractic care.
Dynamic Lumbar Stabilization Exercises
These exercises begin with finding the position that brings the most pain relief. This is known as the “neutral” spine. Then, the back muscles are strengthened with exercise to help the spine stay in the “neutral” position. When done on a continued basis, dynamic lumbar stabilization exercises have been found to provide relief for back pain while keeping the spine positioned correctly.
Both McKenzie and dynamic lumbar stabilization exercises can be done together to stabilize the lower back, reduce pain, and strengthen the back. What is important is that these exercises are controlled and strengthening the muscles of the core and back. Other forms of strengthening exercises that pair well with these exercises are Pilates, yoga, and tai chi.
In addition to strengthening exercises, chiropractic care ensures that the spine is in proper alignment with the body. If these exercises are performed with a misaligned spine and not addressed, the benefits realized will not be as pronounced or effective.
If you suffer from leg or back pain and are beginning an exercise program, be sure to include chiropractic in your regime. At The Joint, the expert doctors can provide gentle adjustments that ensure your spine is in proper alignment so that you realize all of the benefits of your hard work.