Amid the pandemic, our work schedules have been hectic — be it at work, play or home we tend to not listen to the body much. When finally, our body aches and pains we realize that we cannot push it any further.
And these pains, aches, and the soreness of our lower back pain make us want to just stay in bed. Though according to some research, it has been seen that doing a combination of strength and aerobic exercises and stretching two to three times a week can help prevent and ease lower-back pain.
Nearly 60% of people in India have suffered from low back pain at some time during their lifespan.
It is the most common job-related disability too the other reasons being arthritis, obesity, poor posture, trauma, etc. There can be internal organs involvement also but mostly the cause is mechanical, said Dr. Rimmi Verma, Ortho, and Sports Physiotherapist (Gold medallist), Sujok therapist. AXIS Hospital.
Exercises play a significant role in relieving back pain by
- Stretching the tight muscles
- Strengthening the weak muscles
- Improving blood flow
- Relaxing the muscles
Dr. Rimmi Verma explained, the abdominals are the front anchor of the spine whereas the back muscles support the spine from behind. Both groups need to be strengthened for proper support and stability of the spine.
Stretching includes rotational stretches, Knee to chest, Hamstring, and piriformis.
Strengthening exercises most commonly include –Static abdominals, Bridges, cat and camel, leg lifts, partial curl, and most important Planks.
Plank is a bodyweight exercise that improves endurance, reduces belly fat, strengthens abs, thighs, arms, shoulders, and legs, improves metabolism, flexibility, and balance.
High Plank (Forearm plank) – On a yoga mat the elbows should directly be under the shoulder and forearm resting on the ground. The body should be in a straight line. Engage core by pulling the belly button up. Shoulder blades back and together. Take deep and regular breaths.
Side Plank – This engages Obliques (sides of core). Lie on the side with one leg stacked on the other and prop the body up on hand or elbow. It can be made more challenging by lifting the opposite hand or leg in the air.
Reverse Plank – Engages the back and abdominals. Sit on the mat with legs straight. Put the palm behind the hips. Then push and lift the body till it forms a straight line from head to toe.
The plank should be maintained or hold for 10 sec in the case of beginners and then gradually increasing 5 sec to reach a target of 30 seconds or 1 minute and 2-3 sets should be done with proper breaks.
Other variations of planks include side plank crunch, resistance plank, low side plank, etc.
Common mistakes in plank include collapsing lower back, lifting butts upward, dropping the head, stopping breathing, and looking too much on a timer.
So, to get rid of back pain start with these exercises while getting benefitted in other ways also by doing planks. Any of the exercises if lead to an increase in pain should be stopped and the trainer or physio should be consulted, she said.