Disc herniation in the lower back results from chronic imbalance in the spinal joints. One way to prevent this is to strengthen the core muscles that support the spine. Different exercises are prescribed for different people depending on the levels of pain they experience in their lower backs. Inappropriate exercises can, in fact, damage the lower back and make pain even worse. Today, we will share with you a step-by-step guide to exercising your core muscles and waist that can be applied at different levels of core strength.
If you have severe pain in your lower back
If your lower back hurts severely, the first and foremost step of action you must take is to mitigate that pain as best as you could. Simply lying on your back, however, will only make your core muscles weaker. If your pain is severe, you need to do slow and mild exercises that minimize pressure on your lower back.
Lie down on your belly. Place your palms next to your shoulders on the floor. Gently pushing the floor downward, raise your upper body. Maintain that position for two to three minutes and return slowly to the floor again. While your upper body is raised, your body from the pelvis down must be securely fixed to the floor. Do this twice daily – once every morning and once every evening. While this exercise is more for correcting the spinal posture more than for strengthen the core, it is nonetheless effective for keeping active while minimizing pain.
Next, lie on your back. Then, bend your knees and raise your hips while maintaining your feet flat on the ground. Maintain this position for 5 to 10 seconds, before returning gently back to the floor. Repeat this about 10 times, raising your hips as high as you can without feeling pain. Make sure you raise and lower your hips slowly.
Finally, lie on your side and place your elbow on the floor to maintain your body raised, about 45 degrees from the floor. Raise your leg as highly as you can and lower slowly. Do 15 to 20 reps, and repeat for 3 sets. You must move your leg as slowly and gently as possible. This exercise is great for strengthening the oblique and thigh muscles.
If you are not in pain, but feel weak in your muscles
Now you can begin to exercise at a higher level of intensity. You must carry out each exercise in the correct posture to maximize its effect.
The first exercise involves raising one arm and the opposite leg at once. Place your knees and palms on the floor. Raise one arm parallel to the floor and do the same for the leg of the opposite side at the same time. Maintain them raised for 10 to 15 seconds before returning to the original position. Do the same for the other arm and leg. Repeat this 10 times.
The second exercise is the plank. There are various versions of plank exercises, including the half plank (sustaining the body raised on the tips of the feet and the elbows, facing downward), the full plank (sustaining the body raised on the tips of the feet and the palms, facing downward), and the side plank (sustaining the body raised on one foot and one palm, facing sideway). Half and full plank exercises strengthen the core muscles around the waist, while the side plank strengthens oblique muscles.
Keep in mind that inappropriate and incorrectly performed exercises could seriously damage your low back further. You must stop these exercises if you feel any pain.