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Keeping Your Spine Healthy: 5 Exercises for Back Pain

You’re only as young as your spine is healthy. At least that is what Joseph Pilates (creator of Pilates exercise) used to say.

His exact words were “If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.”

Needless to say, our spine health is vital to our daily lives. Unfortunately, back pain, a sore back and back stiffness is the most common complaint that doctors hear. Even more so than the flu.

However, unlike the flu, back pain is preventable and treatment is accessible.


The Cause of Back Pain

The most common cause of back pain is the degeneration or damage to your postural muscles. Essentially, you can think of these muscles as the tent pegs of your body. Their strength is vital to maintaining good posture. Yet, their flexibility is needed to adapt to day-to-day activities and movement.

You don’t have to be an athlete to have strong and flexible postural muscles. However, you do need to activate them through specific exercises.


Can You Cure Back Pain?

Generally speaking, yes. Back pain, as mentioned above is due to poor muscle health. By working towards muscle strength and flexibility you can cure your back pain.

Contrary to what you may feel like doing in times of pain, you need to keep mobile. Resting too much can actually undermine the healing process.

The only way to truly rehabilitate, and to prevent back pain is to perform spine specific exercises.

You need to always take care, be mindful of pain and do not push your back into a position where it is uncomfortable.

However, when carefully performing these exercises, you can rehabilitate your spine health. Reviving the flow of nutrients to the disks and soft tissues around the spine.

Note: If you are currently experiencing back pain, you should consult a health professional for diagnosis before attempting these exercises. The team at Green Apple Wellness Centre Brisbane can help you find your best back pain rehabilitation exercises.


5 Exercises for Back Pain

Note: Take on all these exercises slowly and with caution. If at anytime you feel pain, stop.

1. The Happy Cat Stretch

Green Apple Wellness - Happy Cat Stretch

Starting on all your hands and knees. Slowly and gently arch your back, so your tummy is moving towards the ground. Keep your eyes looking straight out in front of you.

Don’t hold this for too long, just one or two breaths. Slowly return to a neutral position.

Keeping your hands where they are, move your bottom towards your feet, stretching out like a cat often will. Don’t force your bottom down, just relax and let your back get a nice long stretch. Take a few deep breaths here.

2. Knee Twists

spinal twist - green apple wellness

Lying flat on you back, stretch your arms straight our from you shoulders, like Jesus on the Cross.

Bring your knees up and your feet flat to the ground.

Slowly tilt your knees to one side, only go as far as you can without your shoulders coming off the ground.

3. The Cobra Back Stretch

Cobra Back Stretch - Back Pain Relief

Lying on your stomach, bring your elbows under your shoulders, with your forearms out flat in front of you, palms on the ground.

Slowly and softly arch your upper back. Keeping your eyes straight ahead, hold for a few breaths, lower, than repeat.

Do not crunch your neck back.

4. Lower Abdomen Strengthening

ab strengthening - green apple wellness

Lying on your back, bend your knees up and place your feet flat on the ground, and hip width apart. 

As you breathe out, draw your abdomen in. Gently tilt your pelvis up, as if you were doing up a zip from your pelvis to belly button. This isn’t a strong abdominal crunch; you don’t need to use any more than 25% of your strength.

Hold the position for a few breaths.

5. Pelvic Tilts

Starting in the same position as exercise #4, lying on your back, knees up. In this position there will be a natural arch in your lower back and it will not touch the floor. Gently tighten your ab muscles so that your lower back is now flat on the floor.

Slowly start to tilt your pelvis towards your feet, until you feel a slight arch in your lower back again. Return to the starting position, always keeping your abdominal muscles engaged. Repeat slowly 10 times per day.

Low Impact Exercise

When it comes to back pain, if you often struggle with day-to-day tasks it’s best to seek the help of an exercise physiologist to make sure that you’re working on the best possible treatment for your back.

Massage for Tension Release

Therapeutic massage is widely recognised as effective treatment for muscle tension. By working on the fascia and muscle massage therapists can help to release tension, allowing for more movement of the joints and helping to relieve pain.

At Green Apple Wellness clinic our exercise physiologist can help you through a thorough diagnosis and exercise prescription which is vital for long term health. While our massage therapists can assist in releasing tension and pain in the short term. The combined efforts will see you feeling relieved and happy in no time.


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