Strengthening Exercises for Back Pain
This article is an excerpt from Dr. Tuchinsky's book Back Pain: It's All in Your Neck.
This article is part of a six-part series:
Regular exercise is a formidable enemy to back pain. Stretching and strengthening the muscles in your back helps reduce wear and tear on your spine. A physical fitness program can make your back capable of handling the unforeseeable stresses that will assault it during your life.
While traditional exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, or weight training are useful in strengthening muscles, you may wish to exploit the benefits of routines that are designed specifically to strengthen the muscles that influence back pain.
Always check with a health care professional before embarking on an exercise program. Some exercises may be harmful to those with certain conditions. This does mean that these people are excused from exercise; it means only that they must adapt the exercises to fit their personal level of fitness. People with osteoporosis, for example, can use modified exercises that help prevent additional fractures. Even for people with no serious condition, it is best to proceed with caution. But it is also important to proceed. The following exercises are meant to strengthen the muscles and tendons that support the spine directly or indirectly.
Another quick note: no exercise program can work unless it is practiced. Whether the program seeks to strengthen back muscles or lose weight, it hinges on the level of commitment. Find a way to enjoy these exercises: listen to good music or catch up on the news—anything that helps make it less of a chore. They may be boring, but the results are not boring. Soon, your feeling of good health will become its own incentive. Ultimately, the habit of healthy exercise will take on its own momentum, and it will become easier as you feel better.