If you suffer from low back pain, this article can help you.
…And, know that you’re not alone!
Low back pain is the most common musculoskeletal problem globally (1) and is prevalent in older adults.
The good news is you can prevent it, letting you get back to the important things in life like playing with your grandkids or golfing.
Low Back Pain As We Age
As we age, the spine starts to deteriorate from general wear and tear causing stiffness and pain. Loss of muscle mass, muscle strain, and poor posture also contribute to low back pain.
The low back, or lumbar spine, is a column containing bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and muscles. They all work together for support, strength, and flexibility of the spine. Because of the complex structure, it is prone to pain and injury.
Since the low back is the core of the body, it takes on a lot of movement. (Usually too much movement!)
Pain or injury occurs when the low back isn’t strong enough for bending and twisting.
Try This to Build Strength
It’s common to work on strengthening your arms and legs, but many forget about the back.
There are many benefits of a strong back, like stabilizing your spine, improving posture, and most importantly, preventing pain and injury.
There are low-impact, non-aggressive exercises to strengthen and support the low back that you can do at home.
A plank is a great exercise to strengthen the low back and prevent pain. This exercise doesn’t require any equipment, just your own body weight.
When you’re in the plank position, hold it for ten to 30 seconds, depending on your fitness level.
Do this three times per set and aim for two to three days a week.
(1) Manning, J.R., Notaro, G.M., Chen, E. et al. Fitness tracking reveals task-specific associations between memory, mental health, and physical activity. Sci Rep 12, 13822 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-17781-0
(2) Strickland JC, Smith MA. The anxiolytic effects of resistance exercise. Front Psychol. 2014 Jul 10;5:753. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00753. PMID: 25071694; PMCID: PMC4090891.
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