Low back pain is a very common problem, and is a topic that comes up often when I talk with, well people. I have written a couple of articles about this in previous years, but I want to address it again, this time with a more practical approach. I realized recently that I have developed a bit of a template for clients who have low back pain, or who have a history of low back pain. The program for each person is different, but there are six exercises that I include for almost everyone who talks about their back when I first meet them. I am going to share these 6 exercises for low back health with you.
Before I begin though, I must point out the following: If daily living causes you low back pain, I strongly suggest that you look to a health care practitioner as your primary source of guidance for your back health. I won’t suggest what type of professional you see, just that someone who is a doctor, osteopath, physical therapist, chiropractor, athletic therapist, or massage therapist sees and hopefully provides some treatment for your back.
With that said, I’m going to share the 6 exercises that I have found to be most important and effective for helping people improve their low back health. Strangely I feel a need to qualify that again. I think that is because it makes me uncomfortable suggesting that I can help “cure back pain” when I am not a health care professional. I’m a trainer. And before I was a trainer, I was an engineer; not a doctor or a physical therapist. But here’s the thing: I help people’s low back pain by avoiding their back pain, not by working on it.
There are many causes of low back pain, and I’m far from an expert in most of them. But there is one cause in which I am quite well-versed: movements. As it turns out this is a very important one. Whether or not a person’s movement caused their low back pain, improving it often reduces their symptoms. I help people reduce their low back pain by training their movement: Stretching, strengthening, and ensuring proper form while they move. Considering that, it is probably starting to make sense for a personal trainer to be giving out advice about low back pain.
Before I show you the 6 exercises for low back health, I want to share a bit of the theory behind the approach (To go directly to the exercises, scroll down and stop when you see the pictures). It is based on what I have learned from four great professionals: