Some Tips To Help Relieve Your Back Pain from Canada’s Dr. Phil

Posted on December 17, 2011 by


Back pain can be caused from many different conditions. The pain most people fear is a herniated disc. But, the majority of cases we see in the fitness studio are related to problems with weak muscles and ligaments supporting the spine. Research estimates weak muscles, as opposed to structural disorders cause more than 80 percent of low-back pain cases. Individuals with a high level of fitness are 10 times less likely to develop back pain than those with a low fitness level. Many clients have been told by their chiropractors to exercise their abdominal and lower back muscles to help alleviate lower back pain.

The warning signs include pain, weakness or numbness in both legs or arms, progressive weakness or numbness in one extremity, loss of muscle control, fever, unusual bowel or bladder symptoms, inability to move, pain from a fall or blow, pain that shoots down one leg into the calf and doesn’t let up at night, and/or localized pain in the spine. All of these symptoms should alert one to seek immediate professional medical advice.

Low back exercises should incorporate cardiovascular, flexibility, strengthening, and stabilization (core) exercises. We include exercises for pre-hab in our fitness programs. Pre-hab is strengthening an area to prevent injury instead of waiting for injury to happen. Since low back is such a common area for weak muscles, especially in sedentary people, we include core and lower back exercises in all our fitness programs.

Gardening without power tools is manual labor and can be considered exercise. Yard work, mowing, trimming shrubs, weeding and planting are all caloric burning activities. But, if a sore back prevents you from gardening, there are some symptoms that are warning signs where you should seek medical attention. If your lower back is sore from a lack of strength in your trunk muscles or lack of flexibility, there are excellent exercises to increase the strength, improve the flexibility, or decrease lower back pain.

There are several exercises used to strengthen low back, and those same exercises are contra-indicated or not recommended for individuals with lower back problems. Be careful with the selection of exercises and make certain your form and technique are proper and the workload is appropriate. Use proper stretching for flexibility including the hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteals, hip rotators and back extensors. Walking is the most beneficial form of cardio activity for individuals with disc-related problems. Exercises to strengthen lower back muscles include back extensions on a Roman chair, hip extensions, back extensions on low-back machine, abdominal and core exercises, good morning and dead lift exercises with emphasis on proper form.

Exercise will decrease the severity and frequency of lower back problems. A comprehensive exercise program is the best prevention to prevent back pain. For more information and tips on exercise, set up a consult with dr. Phil at 519-265-3799, or go

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