Do you experience back pain? If you do, you’re not alone. Approximately a quarter of Americans have suffered from back pain at some point in their lives, and while most do get treated even without consulting a doctor, some worsen enough to require long-term care.
You could take painkillers to deal with the pain, but if it’s chronic, you could run the risk of getting addicted or suffering from side effects. Chiropractic care is generally highly recommended for back pain; it’s holistic, all natural (no medications!), and uses a variety of techniques to help you with pain relief.
One of the things that your chiropractor may ask you to do is to strengthen your core muscles in addition to undergoing spinal manipulation. These muscles are in your back, your abdomen, your hips, and buttocks and they all support your spine. If the core muscles are weak, they could cause or contribute to back pain.
Here are five exercises that your chiropractor may ask you to do to strengthen your core and help you be pain-free sooner:
Knee to chest. Lie down on your back, your knees bent, and your feet and your arms flat on the floor. Hold one leg behind the knee with both hands and pull your knee towards your chest. Keep the other leg flat on the ground. Hold the stretch for 30 counts, then lower your leg slowly. Do the same with the opposite leg and repeat three times.
Pelvic Tilt. Lie on your back, your knees bent, and your feet and your arms flat on the floor. Inhale. When you exhale, use your abs to flatten the small of your back on the floor without any help from your feet or any part of your body. Count to five, relax, and then repeat for up to 15 times per set.
Hamstring Stretch. Lie down on the floor with your legs stretched out. Bent one leg, foot on the floor. Raise the opposite leg, keeping it as straight as possible with the foot facing the ceiling. Remember to keep your pelvis flat on the floor. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
The Plank. Lie down on your stomach on the floor. In a push-up position, slowly lift your whole body. Only your toes, your elbows, and your forearms should be touching the ground. Keep your body in a straight line, like a plank of wood, and tighten your abdominal muscles. Count to 25 and repeat.
Side Plank. This is similar to the plank, only done sideways. To start, lie down on your side. Lift your hips, with your weight on your forearm supporting your upper body and the side of your foot. Make sure your body is straight. Hold for 25 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
Do this set of exercises at least three times a week, watch your posture, and see your chiropractor as often as needed, and pretty soon, your back pain will be history.