3 good starter exercises for back pain

In the clinic, I usually give exercises in the 2nd or 3rd week of care. By that time, patients are feeling better with less pain and more energy to do exercises.

The goal of the exercises is to:

  1. Increase awareness of the mind and body connection

  2. Increase the flexibility of the spine

  3. Increase core strength

In this article by Amber Sayer of Well + Good, she outlines exercises that are best for your spine. In particular, I like these three:

  • Cat and Cow

The Cat and Cow is a simple exercise that can be done on all fours parallel to the ground. Alternate between the Cat and the Cow position in a fluid movement, and do 8-10 repetitions. Then repeat three times. Here is the video link to see how to do it: https://youtu.be/y_cKHKi9UaM

  • Bird Dog

The Bird Dog is excellent for coordination and strength. Start on all fours, and then alternate one arm with the opposite leg. Hold for 1-2 seconds to start. Then repeat on the other side. Do 8-10 repetitions. Then repeat for 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Here is a link to see how it's done: https://youtu.be/ezAz5PECMnE

  • Superman

Superman is an exercise that is done face down on the floor. It helps stretch the flexors in the spine, and strengthen the extensors. It is an important exercise, that often people leave out of their routine. Start on the floor face down, and gently raise your legs off the ground. Then, raise your shoulders up keeping your head in alignment with your shoulder. Hold for 1-2 seconds. Do 8-10 repetitions. Then repeat for 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Here is a link to see how it's done: https://youtu.be/ATly_pW0i6g

If you need products to help you do these exercises at home, here is a link to some yoga products on Amazon.

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