What are some effective exercises for chronic back pain?
An effective exercise for chronic structural or muscular back pain is the single leg stance, which helps with stability and balance. Watch fitness expert Sue Hitzmann, MS/CST/NMT, share exercises that are good for stability, which can minimize pain.
Another effective exercise that you can practice is called differentiation, moving the pelvis as an isolated unit.
So one effective exercise for any type of chronic, especially if it's structural or muscular, back pain is something I call the single-leg stance.
Just keeping your body in an upright posture and trying to stand on one leg for a minimum of 30 seconds
shows good structural stability. So if you try to stand on one leg without locking out your knees, squeezing your butt cheeks,
or tucking your pelvis under, really trying to keep a nice, upright posture on one leg, if you feel like you struggle to keep that single-leg stance,
that's kind of a pre-pain message that you have some structural instability. So you're having a hard time just managing your balance.
So, if that is you, and you feel like, my body-- actually, I am unstable, you want to use a chair.
You just put your hands on the back of a chair and you just start to shake them. Don't hold the back of the chair, but use that to actually heighten the feedback
loop that your nervous system creates to reestablish both spinal and pelvic stabilization. You can do this up to three to five times a day.
You can do it while you're brushing your teeth in the morning, when you're making food in the kitchen. While watching TV, instead of sitting on the couch,
doing a single-leg stance. Or just even at work, just get up off of your chair and try to balance on one leg, because this can really
help to reestablish structural and muscular stability. Another effective exercise that you can practice
is called differentiation, moving the pelvis as an isolated unit. So we do this on the melt roller.
But if you just roll up a towel and lie on your spine against something where your ribs and your pelvis are somewhat suspended off of the ground,
and you just begin to subtly tuck or tilt your pelvis so that you're actually letting your low back travel backward,
and then slightly forward in that subtle motion, if you can control that and not push into your feet,
squeeze your butt cheeks, or move your ribs, and really isolate that movement, it helps for neurological control.
And we have found that it re-establishes spinal and pelvic stability. So, just remember, if you can't move your pelvis as an isolated
mass from your legs or your ribs, this is one of the key things that destabilizes the low back and increases your chances for chronic low back pain.
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