Category Archives: chiropractic conditions

Redondo Beach Chiropractic Treatment for Headaches

redondo beach chiropractor for headachesHeadaches plague what can seem like the majority of the population and can be incredibly disruptive to your daily routine. Trying to push through your afternoon tasks while the pressure in your head mounts is no way to go through your day. And if you wake up with headaches? Talk about getting up on the wrong side of the bed. Good news is that chiropractors can make a significant difference for people suffering from chronic headaches.

Can a chiropractor help with headaches?

Many of the most common headaches can be linked to issues taking place further south in the body. For example, inflamed nerves in the neck can radiate into your head and face causing headaches. Nerves may become inflamed due to:

If you suffer from tension headaches, it is likely that you catch yourself multiple times per day with your shoulders up around your ears or clenching your jaw. If you’ve made a habit of constantly tensing your muscles, chances are you don’t even notice you’re doing it until the pain begins. 

Migraine headaches, perhaps the most dreadful of all headaches, are characterized by throbbing typically on one side of the head, that usually comes along with nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and seeing spots. Migraine headaches can be triggered by environmental factors but studies have also shown that musculoskeletal issues can be blamed as a contributing factor to reoccurring migraines.   

Redondo Beach Chiropractor for Headaches

Seeing a chiropractor for headaches can be tremendously beneficial to anyone who is a chronic sufferer. Chiropractors specialize in the musculoskeletal system and are able to diagnose and treat many of the conditions that could be causing your headaches. It is not uncommon to feel near immediate relief from spinal manipulation performed by a professional chiropractor. 

A chiropractor is able to identify and treat subluxations in the upper shoulders and neck to help you kick your headache habit. Spinal manipulation has proven to be highly effective and many times your practitioner will suggest neck exercises to further support your headache relief.

But, getting rid of some of that undue stress being placed on your nervous system while at your chiropractors office will subsequently relieve much of the pain it’s causing you in the way of headaches. A chiropractor may also suggest acupuncture as a treatment for your chronic headaches. Especially effective for people suffering from tension headaches, acupuncture performed at a chiropractor’s office is just one more reason to go see a chiropractor for headache concerns. 

If you are in the Redondo Beach area, experience headaches on a regular basis and are interested in chiropractic headache treatments, make an appointment with Catalina Medical today. 

Can a Chiropractor Help with Vertigo?

redondo beach chiropractor for vertigoIf you’re unlucky enough to experience vertigo on a regular basis, you know how difficult it can be to enjoy everyday activities. Constantly feeling as if you’re on a merry go round is, to say the least, torturous. But, can a chiropractor help with vertigo?

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is defined as a sensation of spinning and loss of balance which can be associated with looking down from high vantage points, a head trauma, eye problems, or may be caused by a disease affecting the inner ear or vestibular nerve. This means that simple things like going down stairs can trigger a spell of vertigo and usually once it starts it’s very difficult to get rid of.

Types of Vertigo

There are two primary types of vertigo: central and peripheral vertigo. 

Peripheral Vertigo

The most common of the two, peripheral vertigo is caused by issues in the inner ear such as vestibular neuronitis, BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), or Meniere’s Disease. If you suffer from BPPV, this essentially is characterized by tiny calcium carbonate crystals floating around in the fluid of your inner ear. This leads to that dreadful dizzying feeling. 

Vestibular neuronitis can make someone brutally lightheaded and is usually attributed to a disease or infection in the inner ear. Meniere’s disease is a bit more elusive in its cause. Thought to be triggered by severe stress or too much sodium, caffeine or alcohol intake, Meniere’s disease triggers classic vertigo symptoms of dizziness but may also inflict temporary hearing loss.

Central Vertigo

Central vertigo is largely caused by disease or brain injury. Common causes of central vertigo are:

Unlike peripheral vertigo which can come and go rather quickly, central vertigo may suddenly strike and linger for extended periods of time.

Cervical Vertigo

A third type of vertigo, cervical vertigo, is associated with classic vertigo symptoms sparked by movement of the neck.

Chiropractic Treatment for Vertigo

Treatments for vertigo vary depending on the root cause, but many times people benefit from conservative treatments such as spinal manipulation performed by a professional chiropractor. This is especially effective for those suffering from vertigo caused by injury.

Types of Treatment

During a chiropractic treatment for vertigo, the chiropractor is able to address issues not only with the musculoskeletal system but also is able to perform manipulations which may provide relief to inner ear issues. For example, if a patient is experiencing vertigo from BPPV, a chiropractor is able to apply the Epley Maneuvre which uses gravity to move those calcium carbonate crystals away from the inner ear.

Your chiropractor can also relieve symptoms by manipulating joints in the neck to restore proper movement. If your neck is not moving appropriately, it may be telling your brain that you’re in a different position than you actually are. That, coupled with what your eyes and gravity is telling you, causes mass confusion and, consequently, vertigo. At-home exercises are also suggested by chiropractors to ease vertigo symptoms. The Brandt-Daroff technique is one such exercise that you can do in bed!

If you are suffering from vertigo, it is urgent that you see a professional as soon as possible as it may be a sign of something more sinister taking place in your body. Contact us to make a chiropractic appointment for your vertigo today.

Effective Treatment for Lower Back Pain

Individuals who suffer from lower back pain know that it’s not an easy thing to get rid of. Many of the activities that we participate in on a daily basis contribute to lower back pain issues such as driving, sitting for prolonged periods of time, exercising or untreated past trauma.

Thankfully, there are several effective treatments for lower back pain that you can do from home along with professional treatments which should vastly alleviate your symptoms.

At Home Lower Back Pain Relief

Now, we did mention that exercise may be a cause of lower back pain. Exercise, in many cases, contributes to back pain when improper form is being used while lifting weights or even doing cardio. While this is still true, exercise is actually very effective in treating lower back pain as long as you’re paying attention to your form.

Exercise

Yoga – Yoga is a terrific type of exercise for anyone struggling with lower back pain. Practicing yoga strengthens your core and improves flexibility. Both are very important aspects to maintaining proper posture and therefore healthy back muscles. Also, several poses are particularly beneficial for lower back issues such as:

  • Child’s Pose
  • Extended Triangle Pose
  • Extended Puppy Pose
  • Locust Pose
  • Upward Facing Dog

Core Exercises – Like yoga, targeted core exercises help to strengthen the muscles which support your back. Some highly effective, at-home core exercises you should consider are planks, Russian twists, prone arm/leg raises and knee rolls.

Chiropractic Treatment for Lower Back Pain

In conjunction with your exercise routine targeted at relieving your back pain, seeking professional treatment from a holistic chiropractor will further support your recovery.

Professional Treatments

Acupuncture – Focusing on restoring the flow of energy through your body, acupuncture can be very effective at treating lower back pain. Acupuncture may help to decrease chronic pain and boost your overall ability to be more active which, as we’ve previously mentioned, helps to relieve back pain.

Physical Therapy – Engaging in regular physical therapy has shown to improve lower back issues. Two main types of physical therapy are generally used: Passive and Active. Active physical therapy requires the patient to actively participate in the therapy session through exercise and stretching. Passive therapy is characterized by treatments being performed on the patient, such as hot and cold therapy or electrical stimulation. Both forms are often used to provide a more holistic treatment.

Living with lower back pain can be agonizing. Proactively seek out ways to improve your quality of life! Catalina Medical Center in Redondo Beach can offer you a plethora of advice, not to mention professional treatments, to help ease your aching back.  Schedule an appointment today.

Is it Safe to Crack Your Own Neck?

How often do you crack your neck? Probably more often that you know you should.safe to crack your own neck

If you’ve got a stiff neck, the compulsion to crank your head side to side is understandable. But, is cracking your neck good for you? Is it even safe? In this post we’ll answer the questions that you have about cracking your own neck and whether there are better options for neck pain and stiffness. 

What Happens When You Crack Your Neck?

The popping sound you hear when cracking your joints is caused by gas bubbles in between your bones. These gas bubbles are floating in a liquid, which cushions the joints. When you crack your neck, the popping sound is the sound of that gas being released due to the pressure you’ve placed on them.

If you’re having trouble picturing this process, imagine unscrewing the top of a soda bottle. All of the carbonation bubbles race to the top as soon as you release the pressure. That’s exactly what happens when you crack your neck.

Releasing the gas build up in between your joints relieves pressure and allows the lubricating liquid to do its job and increased your range of movement and improves nerve function.  

Should You be Cracking Your Own Neck?

When it comes down to it, cracking your neck, back or other joints on your own is probably not the best idea in the long run.

Your neck contains delicate elements in your body including your spinal cord, arteries, blood vessels, muscles, nerves, and ligaments. When you crack your own neck, all of those parts of your body move sharply. 

Perhaps you’ve been cracking your own neck for years and nothing has happened to raise any alarms. But, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Consequences of Cracking Your Neck

Let’s use some more imagery to illustrate why you shouldn’t be cracking your own neck. Imagine you’ve got a favorite pair of socks that you wear several times a week. After a while, you’ll notice that they’re not staying up on their own and you routinely have to reach into your shoe to retrieve it. It’s probably because you’ve stretched the elastic out from overuse and once you’ve done that, the sock is ruined.

Same goes for the ligaments between your joints. Your joints react to repeated stretching in the same way that the elastic in your socks does. Too much stretching means that you’ll weaken the integrity of your ligaments making your joints unstable or could even lead to said ligament snapping. Weakening of the ligaments leads to a whole host of other issues like pinched nerves and general misalignment. While you probably won’t get arthritis or cause severe damage, it’s never a good idea to snap your neck joints. 

Alternatives to Joint Cracking

Keep in mind that you’re very likely to be experiencing joint discomfort due to a completely separate musculoskeletal issue and popping your joints yourself is only providing temporary relief. Seeing a chiropractor for neck pain  or other joint discomfort should be your first stop to end the compulsive process of cracking your neck. 

A processional chiropractor is able to assess your overall musculoskeletal health and make recommendations like at home exercise routines to relieve neck pain or even ways to adjustment your posture and sleeping habits. Correcting the problem is before it starts is the best option. to stop the pain before it starts.

If you find yourself continually cracking and popping your neck, now’s the time to stop. Contact us to make an appointment with a Redondo Beach chiropractor and stop cracking your neck today

Chiropractic Treatment for a Slipped or Herniated Disc

The human spine is an incredibly complex structure and, unfortunately, can be the cause of severe discomfort for many of us. One of the most painful issues to deal with is a slipped disc.

What Is a Slipped Disc?redondo beach chiropractor slipped disc

Frequently occurring in the lower back, the condition is characterized by the soft, gelatinous, inner portion of the spinal column protruding through the tougher outer ring and, subsequently, pushing on the surrounding nerves. Ouch. 

What Causes a Slipped Disc?

Normally, slipped discs are caused by the softening of that tough outer ring we just mentioned. It happens with age which is why the condition is more prominent in older individuals. You may also experience a slipped disc if you’re lifting heavy objects and twisting at the waist or if you’re overweight and placing an additional burden on your spinal column.

There are a few options out there if you’re suffering from a slipped or herniated disc. The first treatment is, of course, prevention!

How to Prevent a Herniated Disc

Live a healthy lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy weight and a balanced nutritional diet will help alleviate the pressure on your spinal column. The less pressure it takes on a regular basis the less softening of that tough outer ring and the less likely you’ll be to experience discomfort.

Also, quit with the nicotine. Nicotine prevents the discs in your back from absorbing the nutrients you’re working so hard to include in your diet, making them dehydrated and brittle.

Exercise

Keeping the muscles in your core and back strong go a long way in preventing several spinal issues including a slipped disc. Incorporating exercises which specifically target these core back areas should be included into a consistent workout schedule.

Posture

Pay attention to your posture. If you’re slumping over or placing uneven pressure on your hips (ahem, men take your wallets out of your back pockets while sitting) while seated, you’re stressing those precious vertebrae. If your office chair is a bit rickety, try adding some lumbar support with an ergonomic lower back pillow or by simply rolling up a towel and placing it between your lower back and your chair.

Sleeping Position

Don’t forget that your sleeping position is a major contributor to your spinal health. Sleeping in a position which does not adequately support your body’s alignment can do more damage than you’d think.

Treatment for a Slipped Disc

If you are already suffering symptoms of a herniated or slipped disc (pain, numbness or tingling in limbs which worsen at night or with certain activities) the best thing to do is to get in to see your chiropractor as soon as you can. A professional will be able to make recommendations to safely and effectively treat your herniated disc.

If you’re suffering from a slipped or herniated disc in Redondo Beach, contact us for an appointment.

Chiropractic Remedies for Back Spasms

redondo beach chiropractic treatment for back spasmsCramp, pinch, stitch, Charley horse…a spasm by any other name would feel just as awful. Any time you experience a muscle that suddenly constricts, almost violently, painfully, and completely involuntarily is considered a muscle spasm.

Muscle spasms are even more horrible when you experience them in your back, especially if you’re already suffering from chronic back pain.

Causes of Back Spasms

If you experience back spasms, there’s generally a reason why. Spasms are one way that your body is telling you that something is wrong or that there’s some type of imbalance; either in your spine or in your nutrients. Several things could be blamed for your frequent back spasms. The primary triggers of back spasms tend to be:

Outside of living an active lifestyle, you may be experiencing back spasms due to a physical disorder such as:

  • Spinal misalignment
  • Herniated spinal disc
  • Spinal stenosis 

Chiropractic Treatment for Back Spasms

First and foremost, if you’re experiencing back spasms, it means there’s an issue. Either you’re doing too much too quickly or without proper training or you’ve got a more serious issue festering under the surface. Seeking out chiropractic treatment for back spasms is the first step into diagnosing the root of your discomfort.

Chiropractic physical therapy, massage, or acupuncture is an effective treatment for tense muscles that are a result of overexertion. But, if the source of your back spasms is due to a physiological issue like the examples listed above, you most definitely need to seek chiropractic treatment for back spasms. Spasms mean that something in your body is off and allowing the nerves in your back to remain in a compromised state for too long can cause permanent damage to your body. Not only that, but back spasms are painful and treatment can help alleviate that discomfort. 

How to Prevent Back Spasms

While back spasms are a literal pain, the good news is that preventing back spasms is possible. Aside from back spasms caused by injury or ailment, back spasms can be prevented by keeping your body active and nourished with the following:

Exercise

Performing core exercises isn’t just for those of us looking for a “beach bod”. Keeping your core in tip top shape provides your back with much needed support and helps to prevent back spasms in the first place. Also, incorporate stretching into your lower back exercises to increase flexibility. The more pliable your muscles are, the less likely they’ll be to spasm when making a sudden movement.

Nutrition

Properly nourishing your hard working muscles is one more way to keep them in a relaxed state at all times. Be sure you’re drinking plenty of water and incorporate Sodium, Calcuim, Magnesium, and Potassium into your diet whether through proper meal planning or by taking a multivitamin.

Sleeping Position

Your sleeping posture can also have an impact on your back and either cause or help alleviate back spasms. 

Do you tend to sleep twisted up like a pretzel or on your stomach? Maintaining proper sleeping posture helps tremendously in reducing back spasms. Seemingly innocent (and comfortable) positions can wreak havoc on your lower back and strain back muscles for prolonged periods of time. Tonight, pay attention to your body and if you think find yourself guilty of improper sleeping posture, change your position for a few nights and see how big of a difference it makes for you.

Although these tips work for most people suffering from back spasms, every person is different and could be enduring what could end up being a much more serious issue. The best advice we can give to someone experiencing back spasms is to schedule a chiropractic appointment to find out the cause of and treat your back spasms.

Chiropractic Physical Therapy

chiropractic physical therapy redondo beachThere is a wide spectrum of different treatment styles when it comes to alleviating back and neck pain. For many people, chiropractic treatment is the first line of defense; for others, it’s physical therapy.

So, what’s the best treatment for you? Here’s a breakdown of both chiropractic treatment and physical therapy and how the two can be used in conjunction to relieve pain and  increase strength and flexibility.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is primarily based on working on the musculoskeletal system together with the neuromuscular system with an aim of improving any dysfunction in movement, posture, any joint misalignments and muscle imbalances. The ultimate focus of our physical therapy is towards ensuring that pain is decreased and strength and movement is improved. These also happen to be the goals of most chiropractic courses of treatment.

Physical therapy aims to improve the performance of daily functions, laying emphasis on a program that is progressive. Physical therapists will often assign core strengthening exercises or neck pain relief exercises to be performed independently at home. Physical therapy is a course of treatment that many people seek out or are assigned after an injury like a sport injury or orthopedic surgery. In these cases, physical therapy serves to rehabilitate the muscles and improve range of motion in the body. 

The treatment procedure in physical therapy is specific to the part that needs attention but involves working on all the other soft tissues and any other joint or neurological structure that is involved. The therapists at times incorporate various degrees of mobilization on to different joints, which may include the spine to aid in making the treatment more efficient. Soft tissue techniques are also emphasized including therapeutic exercises to aid in the treatment process. The duration of treatment in each visit ranges between 45 to 60 minutes per visit.

Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic treatment is based a very strong relationship between good health and the nervous system, with focus being laid on treating the skeletal system together with the neurological system. The science behind chiropractic treatment is spinal and joint manipulation to facilitate movement in the body and reduce tension and pain.

Chiropractic treatment is used for conditions ranging from sciatica pain treatment to tension headache relief. The main goals of chiropractic treatment is to reduce pain as part of a holistic approach to health and well being. Unlike physical therapy, chiropractic treatment is usually part of a long term regimen to maintain a healthy posture and reduce ongoing back pain for which there aren’t other treatment options. 

Chiropractic Physical Therapy

While physical therapy and chiropractic treatment differ, they’re often used in conjunction as part of an overall treatment program. By combining the strength training and rehabilitation aspects of physical therapy with the movement and flexibility that chiropractic adjustments provide, patients are able to recover better from injuries and reduce pain more effectively. . 

If you’re suffering from pain related to injuries or long term conditions, contact us to learn about chiropractic treatment in Redondo Beach.

Chiropractic Exercise for Slipped Discs

Chiropractors can help relieve pain caused by slipped discs and other degenerative disc conditions. The chiropractic treatment includes manual manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. In performing these treatments, chiropractors use their hands toexercise for slipped disc gently stimulate the affected nerves and tissues. Many people feel greater range of motion and a brief decrease in pain after this treatment.

If you’re suffering from lower back pain due to these conditions, then exercise, rather than rest, in addition to chiropractic treatment can help relieve pain. Exercise in this case, helps increase spinal mobility and strengthens the muscles around the spine.

Core Strengthening Exercises

Lower back pain and a slipped disc are serious medical conditions. Be sure to check with your chiropractor before beginning any new exercise or activity to make sure it’s safe and appropriate for you. One of the things that can help a slipped disc is by strengthening the core of your body that holds your spine into place. Your chiropractor will also advise core-strengthening exercises to increase spine mobility and strengthen the muscles around the spine.

Modified crunches: A modified version of the traditional “crunch” can safely relieve pain and strengthen core muscles. This version places less pressure on the lower spine, compared to a traditional crunch. To perform this exercise, 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 helps strengthen your lower back muscles, as well as the strong supportive muscles of your legs. Try doing it every other day to ease pain and muscle spasms and to build core strength.  To perform this exercise, 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. 

Side stretch: Muscles in the sides of the back will benefit from this exercise. These are the oblique muscles, which can hold tension and cause pain. Stretching these muscles can ease lower back pain. To perform this exercise, sit on the floor with your legs crossed.

  • Place your right hand on the floor behind you. 
  • Reach your left arm up and over to the right. 
  • Hold for 30 seconds. 
  • Repeat with the left hand down and the right arm up. 
  • Repeat 3 times on each side. 

Knee to chest stretch: This exercise is also great for lower back pain relief. To perform this exercise lie on your back with your knees bent. Feet should be flat on the floor.

  • Keeping one foot flat on the floor, bring one knee up to your chest. 
  • If you can, hold the knee with your hands. 
  • Press your lower back into the floor and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. 
  • Lower the knee and repeat with the other leg. 
  • Repeat 3 times for each leg. 

Sleeping Positions for Disc Pain

Stomach sleeping puts unnecessary strain on lower back muscles and flattens out the natural curve of the spine. Also, your neck is rotated to the side, which causes strain in your upper shoulders and back.  Side sleeping puts less strain on your body. If your body is aligned, your pelvis and spine are also aligned. This is a good sleep position for people with back pain.  

Flat on your back is the best sleep position. This allows for the natural curvature of the spine and leaves the airway open. However, don’t use a pillow to avoid holding your neck at 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. Otherwise, you risk throwing your hips out of alignment, which can cause hip pain.

If you’re suffering from back pain from a slipped disc, contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

Sciatica Pain Treatment in Redondo Beach

Sciatica has become a condition that many people are facing. It is estimated that about four out of every ten people have a high chance of developing sciatica symptoms. Here are some treatment options for sciatica. 

What is Sciatica?

Simply put, sciatica is a condition that is characterized by an irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerves are located on either side of the lower spine and travel through the buttocks and pelvis. The nerves go down the back of each leg, braching off to the knees and feet. When pressure is applied to this nerve, pain is often felt in the lower back, hip, buttocks, and thigh.

Sciatica pain is different for every person. Although it usually feels like a burning sensation that brings about discomfort, in some cases, it can cause tingling and numbness. Typically sciatic nerve pain increases with prolonged periods of sitting, like during long drives, or with lifting or straining.

Relief Options from Sciatica Pain

There are numerous to choose from when it comes to reducing or treating the pain from sciatica. Options include medication, exercise, and chiropractic treatment. Sometimes surgery may also help.

Exercise for Sciatica Pain

Like many back and chiropractic conditions, pain associated with sciatica is often alleviated with exercise. Exercises and movement have proven to aid in pain relief. The exercise that you do is very important to the health of the spinal disc, and the movement will help with nutrients and fluids in the discs.

Common sciatica exercise program will involve core muscle strengthening, which aims to strengthen abdominal and back muscle, hamstring stretching and other forms of stretching. Aerobic exercise is vital to ensure that you get the pain relief you are looking for.

Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica Pain

Since sciatica is usually caused by nerve compression, chiropractic care has proven to help relieve sciatic nerve pain. The main aim of chiropractic care is to enable the body to heal itself. This entails spinal movements which help in reducing pain and increasing function and performance of the spine. Chiropractic care is non-invasive and does not involve the use of drugs.

The type of chiropractic care that one will get will mainly depend on the cause of the sciatica pain. The treatment may include ice/cold therapy, ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and spinal manipulation. The chiropractic care that one will get will not only help treat sciatica but also provide solutions for various disorders.

Alternative Remedies

In some cases, other alternative methods may be used, such as acupuncture and biofeedback can be used to relieve sciatic nerve pain. This remedies may not work for everyone so ask your doctor if you’re a candidate for these types of treatment.

Surgical Treatment for Sciatica

Although a rarity, surgical treatment may be considered as a last resort to sciatic nerve pain.  people suffering from sciatica will have surgery done. If the pain is extreme and lasts for more than 6 weeks, patients are is usually referred to a specialist. Surgery is the last option in sciatica treatment after all other treatment options have been exhausted. 

If yo’ure suffering from sciatic nerve pain in Redondo Beach, Catalina Medical Center may be able to help. Request an appointment to see how we can help you live pain free today!

 

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.