Core Exercises for Back Pain

If your lower back is painful, you might balk at the idea of exercise. But exercise actually helps relieve pain. In fact, exercise can even prevent lower back pain.

How does exercise help back pain?

Exercise is the best way to build the body’s core muscles that support the spine. When these muscles are strong, the spine will be more flexible, less likely to be painful. After an injury, getting back to your normal activities is often the best thing for lower back pain.

With a muscle strain, you’ll find that movement relieves muscle spasms and pain following an injury. If pain is intense, physical therapy or a massage can also help. With spinal pain, exercise helps increase spinal mobility and strengthens the muscles around the spine. Exercise also keeps discs lubricated so you can move and bend easily.

Core Strengthening Exercises for Back Pain

While certain exercise are best to relieve lower back pain, some lower back core exercises serve to keep your lower back muscles strong to prevent pain. “Crunches” are never good for the lower back, as they place too much pressure on the lower spine. However, a modified version is good therapy.

Modified Crunchescore exercise for lower back pain

To relieve pain safely, and strengthen your core abdominal and back muscles, perform these modified crunches instead.  

Starting Position: Lay on your back on an exercise mat or carpeted floor. Bend both legs at the knees; keep feet flat on the floor.

  • Cross your arms, one over the other, on top of your chest. 
  • Slowly take a deep breath in and tighten the muscles of your abdomen. 
  • As you exhale, lift your shoulders off your mat or the floor 
  • Be careful to keep your tailbone and lower back on the floor. Avoid using arms or elbows to lift your head and shoulders. 
  • Hold this position for a count of 3 to 5, then return to the start position. 
  • Rest briefly and repeat 8 to 10 times 

Hamstring Stretch

This exercise is good for strengthening core lower back muscles, as well as the strong supportive muscles of your legs, with this hamstring stretch. Perform these lower back core exercises every other day.

Starting Position: Sit on an exercise mat or carpeted floor. Your legs are extended out in front of you, toes pointing up. Keep your back straight.

  • Bend your left knee and let it fall to the side, bringing your foot toward you, until the foot bottom is against the inside of your right leg. Keep your right leg straight, toes pointing toward the ceiling. 
  • Keeping your back straight, bend slowly forward from your waist. 
  • Bring your chest toward your left knee. Be careful not to jerk or bounce. You’ll feel tension behind your knee, in the hamstring muscle. 
  • Stop stretching when you feel this tightness. 
  • Breathe slowly, holding the stretch for a count of 10. 
  • Slowly sit back and relax. 
  • Repeat the stretch with the right leg. 

Core strengthening exercises for lower back pain should be part of your regular routine. It’s best to do these exercises inside, in an environment where you can focus on your movements.

Sleeping Position

In addition to doing core exercises to strengthen your core and alleviate lower back pain, you should also pay attention to your sleeping position. If you’re doing these lower back core exercises during the day, don’t undo all your good work with a bad sleep position.  Flat on your back is the best sleep position. This allows for the natural curvature of the spine and leaves the airway open. To make sure this position truly is the best way to sleep for your neck, however, try not to use a pillow to avoid pushing your neck into too tight an angle.  Also, keep your hips in a comfortable position by keeping your legs straight down, not splayed out, turned out, or one cocked out to the side. All of these variations will throw your hips out of alignment, which can cause hip pain. For more information, check out our blog post on the best sleeping position for back pain.

Can Chiropractic Help TMJ?

If you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ Disorder, or temporomandibular joint disorder, you likely know a little about the condition. What you might not realize is that chiropractic treatment for TMJ can help relieve your pain. 

What is TMJ?can chiropractic help TMJ

Your temporomandibular joint is a hinge connecting your jaw to bones in front of each ear. This joint is the mechanism that lets you talk, chew, and yawn. When you’ve injured your jaw, the joint, or had whiplash (which affects muscles in your head and neck), you can develop this condition. Other problems can lead to TMJ, including grinding and clenching teeth (often caused by stress). Sometimes the joint’s socket is out of alignment which causes pain and discomfort. 

The result is severe tenderness or pain in the jaw or neck when you eat, speak or open your mouth wide. Your jaw might get stuck open. You might hear clicking or popping when you chew. Eating might be difficult as your upper and lower teeth don’t fit together properly. Some people get migraine pain, a pain that often is triggered by overly tight muscles in your head, neck and shoulders.

Tips to relieve pain associated with TMJ:

  • Eati soft foods so you chew less
  • Keep your jaw and mouth as relaxed as possible, to relieve pressure on your jaw. Holding your teeth slightly apart is a good practice. Do this as often as possible. 
  • Practice stress reduction such as exercise, meditation, and massage
  • Wear a night guard to correct your bite, and get it into a more correct position. 

Chiropractic Treatment for TMJ

TMJ chiropractic techniques can be effective in relieving neck and shoulder pain from TMJ disorder. With manual adjustments, a chiropractor can help relieve your TMJ pain, including migraine pain, depending on the cause of your jaw disorder. During the adjustment, our chiropractors may press on your jaw, skull or upper spine to relieve irritated nerves. This helps increase your jaw’s range of motion.

Active Release Technique is a soft tissue-based therapy your chiropractor may use. This tissue-based therapy breaks up adhesions and scar tissue in muscle and ligaments. This is proven to be very effective when combined with regular chiropractic treatments. In some cases, Active Release Technique is all that’s needed to help control pain of TMJ Disorder.

Specific exercises can strengthen and help align the jaw joint so it works optimally. Neck stretches and strengthening exercises may also help to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ.

If you’re suffering from pain from TMJ, we can help! Schedule an appointment with a Redondo Beach Chiropractor today.

How to Prevent Neck Pain

Many people don’t realize what the expression “pain in the neck” means. Little movements may seem like an innocent enough activity, but when you suffer from neck stiffness and pain, some movements can feel like lightening shooting through your body. An exaggeration, you say? Think again. Whether you have a dull, achy type of pain that keeps you from comfortably getting through your morning meetings or a neck so stiff you can’t check your blind spot, neck stiffness and pain can significantly interfere with everyday life.

What Causes Neck Pain?how to prevent neck pain

Starting with the root of the problem…what causes neck pain? Aside from the obvious cases in which a trauma has occurred (ex. car accident, nasty fall, surgery), the joints in our neck tend to just get plain stiff with use over time. Issues like sleeping posturefibromyalgia and arthritis can cause neck pain as well.

Think of an old, squeaky wheel. That stiffness causes muscles around those joints to spasm while simultaneously weakening others. Our bodies will overcompensate for weak areas by putting too much strain on others to maintain a smooth operation. Unfortunately for us, Mother Nature isn’t as flawless as we’d like to believe. What’s more is that this muscle tension can lead to other problems. If you experience tension headaches or migraines there’s a strong chance they’re related to whatever is going on with your stiff neck.

How to Prevent Neck Pain

So, what about the things that you can control? First things first. How’s your posture right now? Are your shoulders schlumped over, neck jutting forward? Sorry, but you can’t point to involuntary muscular adjustments here. Your posture is one of the most common contributors to a sore neck. And not just your waking posture either. Your posture while you sleep may be what’s making your neck so out of whack. It sounds kind of kooky since we associate posture with standing upright. But if you think about it, whether standing, sitting or sleeping, staying in an unhealthy position for long periods of time is going to do some serious damage. If you wake up with neck stiffness and pain, you may be connecting the dots right about now.

Repetitive movements or sitting in one position too long or looking down at your phone can also add to the severity of the sufferers condition. Carrying heavy loads like backpacks or bags can also cause neck pain. Exercises can help alleviate and prevent neck pain by keeping the muscles strong and joints flexible. Check out this post for exercises to relive neck pain

Seeking chiropractic treatment for neck pain should be at the top of anyone’s list who suffers from this condition regularly. Through gentle spinal manipulation, your chiropractor should be able to begin the process of relieving some of your discomfort. In addition, you’ll receive valuable information about things you can do at home like neck stretches and neck stretching techniques that will help prevent that pain and stiffness from being a prevalent factor in your daily routine.

Chiropractic treatment for neck pain is a safe and effective way to treat chronic neck pain. If you’re in the Redondo Beach area and looking for a quality chiropractor, request an appointment and see how we can help your neck pain. 

How a Chiropractor Can Improve Your Golf Game

Golf is a full body sport. A golfer twists and bends probably 100 times over the course of a full round. No matter how fit you are, that type of movement is bound to take its toll on a person’s body.

One of the keys to keeping your golf score down is to chiropractor for golf gamehave relaxed muscles. The tighter your back and shoulders the less likely you are to maintain proper form. Regularly visiting a chiropractor for preventative treatment can help your golf game in a number of ways.

Prevent Injury

It’s very common for chiropractors to see clients only after an injury has occurred. But, if you’re an active individual, consider making chiropractic visits a part of your regular maintenance routine. Golfing has the potential to wreak havoc on your lower back, and while exercising can be good if you’re already experiencing lower back pain, you can potentially do some harm if there’s a more severe issue lurking beneath the surface. Golf also impacts your shoulder so see a chiropractor if you’re experiencing shoulder pain.

So, if you plan on making it to the back nine in the foreseeable future, visiting a chiropractor should be on your radar.

Improve Your Swing

A study conducted by the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine followed a group of male golfers and found that those in the study who received chiropractic adjustments significantly improved their full-swing performance than those who did not. If nothing else, golf is all about form. When your body is not properly aligned or you’re experiencing acute joint pain like knee pain, it may be difficult or even painful to get your stance just right.

Benefits of regular chiropractic adjustments include:

  • Increased flexibility 
  • Improved posture 
  • Decreased risk of injury 
  • Increased range of motion 

Nervous System Relief

We said earlier that golf was a full body sport, but it’s also a thinking person’s game. Our spinal cords have much to do with how well our senses function. Patients have reported improved vision, clearer sinuses and more distinct hearing as a result of a spinal alignment. Imagine lining up your shot without the distractions of a stuffy nose or plugged up ears – suddenly the green doesn’t seem so far away.

Other issues that may prevent you from performing at your best may have nothing to do with overworked muscles or misalignment. Even arthritis sufferers can benefit tremendously under the care of a professional chiropractor.

If you’re in the Redondo Beach area and interested in more information on how a chiropractor can improve your golf game, contact us for an appointment with a Redondo Beach Chiropractor today