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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Exercise Back Pain - Abdominal Stretches

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 @ 09:33 AM

The number one factor for the proper stability for your spine is well coordinated not strong abdominals. It is very important to understand that the sit-up performed wrong especially. If performed in the early morning actually increases disc pressure. Unfortunately, this is when it is typically performed!

Our program is specifically designed to eliminate and decrease disc pressure.  Disc pressure is what causes your back to not heal and not get better.  Properly training the abdominals can stabilize the spine and eliminate the cause of your back pain.   So it is very important to perform these activities properly. The following Progression is to be performed overtime and progressed slowly.

1.  Bracing Bracing

    First, it is important to know how to isometrically activate the abdominal wall. This is called bracing. Bracing is simple. All you need to do is imagine someone is going to push you or hit you. Automatically, you tighten your ‘‘core’’ or brace with your abdominals. This is quite different from various popular strategies of sucking your navel in.  It is not bad to pull your navel in this is a good place to start. The process of pulling your navel in help to start to educate the nervous system and the muscle so you become more familiar with the ability to activate the muscles.

    2. Trunk curl-up
    • Lay on your back with 1 leg straight and the other bent at the knee.
    • Place your hands palm down under the small of your lower back.
    • Tighten your core by bearing down slightly, without holding your breath.
    • Slowly lift your upper back up from a point just below your shoulder blades, but above your hands.
    • Avoid poking your chin, flexing your neck, or rounding your back excessively.
    • Keep your elbows on the floor.
    • Once your trunk is raised hold that position while you keep tightening your abdomen and you breathe normally for 2 breaths.
    • Lower slowly and repeat 12 times.
    • Perform this task once or twice daily
    For Advanced training: 
    • Once you curl-up lift your elbows off the floor.
    • Add a second set of 8 additional repetitions and a third set of 6 more repetitions.

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     3.  Dead Bug

    The dead bug is another excellent isometric abdominal exercise. The purpose is to maintain the brace and crunch while moving your arms and legs. This trains a high level of control or stability into the back and trunk. It is not easy to do with proper coordination. For each exercise perform 8–12 slow repetitions on each side. This type of training should be performed twice a day:

    Beginner Level:
    • Lay on your back with 1 leg straight and the other bent at the knee.
    • Place the hand opposite your bent knee palm down under the small of your lower back.
    • Raise the arm opposite the leg that is straight over your head supported on the floor.
    • Tighten your core by bearing down slightly, without holding your breath.
    • Slowly draw your arm and leg that are straight together over your abdomen.
    • Bring them back to the start position.

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    4.  Medium Level

     

    Lift the foot on the leg that is bent at the knee so that it is unsupported. Add a second set of 8 additional repetitions and a third set of 6 more repetitions. 

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    5.  Advanced Level

     

    Bring your feet up in the air so that your shins are horizontal and your thighs vertical (90/90 position).  Reach to the ceiling with your hands as high as you can. Tap a knee with the opposite hand.

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    6.  Then extend your arm and leg on opposite sides. 

     

    If you progress too fast it will cause your back to be sore.  Go slow with this exercise.  You should start with only small movements of the legs.

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    7.  Progress by adding a small medicine ball in your hand.

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