All About Your Health and Apex, NC

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Lower Back Pain and Exercise Balls

Do you have lower back pain? And do you have an exercise ball? Then you’re in luck Your exercise ball can actually help relieve your lower back pain.

There is a long list of things that can cause lower back pain, everything from a sports injury to an unsupportive mattress. But an exercise ball can help.

Exercise balls are ideal tools to help alleviate lower back pain because they gently increases your range of motion but don’t compress your lumbar spine when you sit on it.

According to Spine Health:

…many exercise ball programs are designed to bring movement to the spine in a controlled manner to help keep the discs nourished. Moving the vertebrae helps nourish the discs in the spine ballby increasing blood flow around the disc and by causing the water to flow in and out of the disc.

Before beginning ANY new exercise program, you should consult with your doctor, but some of these from the Livestrong Foundation may prove to be beneficial:

Hip circles increase the range of motion in your lower back and can be especially helpful for chronic back pain. Sit on the ball with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart or slightly wider. Place your hands on your hips or rest them on your thighs. Sit tall with your back straight. Bring your shoulder blades together and down to open your chest. Roll your pelvis in small, full circles, as if you’re drawing a dime-sized spot on the floor with your hips. Widen the circles in continuous, smooth movements. Reverse direction, starting with wide circles that become increasingly tighter. To further develop lower back mobility, “write” your name with your hips.

The exercise ball provides a supportive cushion, so you can release your body weight onto the ball to deepen certain stretches, such as the body drape. The body drape stretch targets your upper, middle and lower back muscles simultaneously. Kneel in front of the ball. Drape your hips and torso over the top, resting your hands or fingertips on the floor in front of the ball and your shins and the tops of your feet on the floor behind it. Allow your head to hang toward the floor, lengthening the back of your neck. Imagine relaxing your full body weight into the floor through the ball. Breathe deeply as you relax your weight. Hold for as long as you’re comfortable.

Here’s a good resource to learn more about exercise ball programs.

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