man holding his lower back in pain

Low Back Pain

Do you have low back pain? About 80% of people experience low back pain and half of those people spend most of their day sitting. Low back pain is also the result of overuse (ie – sitting or too much exercise), poor form during exercise, or other factors such as being overweight, or even from stress!

One option to help with low back pain would be to use a brace. Using a back brace for support will give the area support and allow the core muscles, that are working overtime to deal with the pain, to rest a bit. Back braces can be used to immobilize the injured areas, assisting with the recovery process. These more stable back braces may be used to prevent any unnecessary movement, preventing any further damage to the back / injured area. For example, if you are someone who is dealing with acute low back pain in the morning, put on a brace to assist you in getting through your morning routine then you may either take off the brace or keep it on throughout the day to assist you with the day ahead. Wearing back braces can help ease pain associated with prolonged standing or sitting as well. If your job requires you to be in a prolonged position for a period of time, try using a Mueller Back Brace to provide support during your day.

Regardless of whether you can use a brace or not, you still must rehab the injury in order to create long term effects. I believe that a combination of mobility and strength exercises are the key to preventing and treating low back pain, especially for the long term. The mobility, the ability of your joints to actively move through their full range of motion, exercises should focus on the areas above and below your lower back, your hips and thoracic spine. The strength or stability exercises should begin with core and hip focus programming with a progression to functional complex full body movements. Consistency is key. The more consistent you are, the better your body awareness and move quality will be!

Try this 5 move program

to help improve your range of motion, improve circulation, and stabilize your trunk

World’s Greatest Stretch
Start in the high plank position. Take one foot and place it outside of the same side hand. Lift the back knee off the ground, engaging the glute on that side. Focus is on your hips and mid back. With the arm next to the front foot, drop your elbow towards the ground, feeling the stretch, pause, then reach the same hand toward the ceiling while rotating your mid back.

Lumbar Figure Four Windshield Wipers
Lie on your back in the bridge position. Cross one foot over one knee in the figure four position. Focus is on your hips and lower back. Focus on pulling the knee towards the ground to get the full effect of the stretch. When you rotate remember to keep both arms and your upper back on the ground

Lie prone on your stomach with your head in neutral position and hands / chest flat on the floor. Focus is on your lower back and hips. Focus on keeping your chest and upper body on the ground as you lift your leg up and over to the other side. If you cannot tap your toe on the other side , that is ok! Be consistent with this movement and each time you will improve the range.

Lay on the floor with your elbows under your shoulders, hands flat on the floor and core engaged. Lift your knees off the ground until your body is in a straight line. Tighten your glutes, quads, and core muscles to maintain a straight line from your feet to head. Hold for X time. If you ever start to arch your lower back or lose form, the plank is over and you need to reset.

Dead Bugs
Start supine with your legs in the tabletop position and your hands reaching towards the ceiling. Engage your core, then reach one hand over your head and release the opposite leg towards the floor without losing core control (if your lower back comes off the mat, the rep is over and restart). Pause at the end range, then return to the starting position, switch sides and repeat.