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Back Problems/Exercises
Old 07-06-2010, 12:02 PM   #1
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Back Problems/Exercises

Does anyone have any good ideas for strengthening the back..preferably lower back.

about 2 months ago I got out of bed and was all locked up. It took almost a week to get back to normal. I've been doing stretching to keep it from coming back, but yesterday went to the beach and fell asleep for an hour on my back on hard packed sand..when I woke up I was almost locked up again.

I've been reading about doing dead lifts with weights.

Also, I might try a Chiropractor, but hear different opinions on whether they work or not.

Someone gave me the number of an Acupuncturist..lots of choices..

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Old 07-06-2010, 12:22 PM   #2
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I'm concerned about giving any advice that might make it worse since I don't know what your back troubles are. I'd recommend getting it checked out by a doctor and then seeing a physical therapist assuming exercises and stretches are in order. The PT can evaluate you and give you the best exercises for your condition, and also make sure you are doing the exercises correctly.

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Old 07-06-2010, 12:22 PM   #3
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You may want to start here:

Strained Back Muscle Again

I strained a lower back muscle a few years ago and for several days I could barely walk (I had nasty muscle spams). The physical therapist gave me some back exercises to do and it went away pretty quickly. Even though I still have to be careful when I lift something heavy, I have never had another bad episode since then. When I feel tightness in my back, those are the exercises I do:

Lie on your belly, arms extended in front of you and legs extended behind you.
1) simultaneously lift left arm and right leg as far off the ground as you can. Hold for a few seconds. Bring them back to the ground. Now repeat with the right arm and left leg. Repeat 10 times.
2) simultaneously lift all arms and legs as far from the ground as you can. Hold for a few seconds. Bring them back to the ground. Repeat 10 times.
3) Find something high to sit on, like a kitchen counter.
place the left leg on top on the counter while the right leg dangles down the side of the cabinets. Stretch the left leg in front of you, parallel to the edge of the counter. Torso should be straight up. Bend your torso forward (at the hips) and with your 2 hands, try to reach your left foot's toes. Hold for a few seconds. Come back to starting position (left leg extended, torso straight up). Repeat 10 times.Then turn around and place right leg on top of the counter while left leg dangles. Repeat.
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Strained Back Muscle Again
Old 07-06-2010, 05:34 PM   #4
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Strained Back Muscle Again

Thanks I'll look into these..
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:29 PM   #5
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I also suggest seeing a doctor for diagnosis first. The wrong exercises can make back pain worse.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:59 AM   #6
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See this post by Alan Strengthing the core

I found the McGill exercises very helpful. There are youtube videos of them and McGill sells a book and dvd
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
See this post by Alan Strengthing the core

I found the McGill exercises very helpful. There are youtube videos of them and McGill sells a book and dvd
Thanks for referencing this.

My advice would be to see a Dr and/or PT before doing any exercises with weights or sudden movements - the back is a very complicated structure.

In addition to stretching exercises I find that a hot bath or a heating pad in an evening is also very beneficial.
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:54 AM   #8
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You might want to read up some about Pilates. I've just started so I know more thru reading than actual practice. The lessons that I've had so far really stress the importance of proper form so you don't hurt yourself. Also, if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia you must modify the exercises so that you don't flex the upper back and neck.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:17 AM   #9
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An update on that thread referenced above. I haven't had any muscle strains since then (2008), which probably indicates that my program is working (28 crunches and 20 supermans twice a week, plus other general weight lifting).

That strain happened when doing the dumbbell squats. In an effort to not lift with my back, I had stood on my toes when lifting the weights off the floor, lost my balance, and pulled the muscle when trying to recover. Since then I keep my feet flat on the floor (as in the illustration).

Remember to give your back lots of time to recover before starting the exercises. And never slack off or it will happen again.

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