Extra Fit 50's: Exercises That Can Help With Back Pain

Extra Fit 50's: Exercises That Can Help With Back Pain

Back pain is a common problem among people over 50 years old. Aging brings about physiological changes such as reduction in bone density, arthritis and loss of space between vertebral discs in the spine. The good news is that  staying active can help relieve the pain and strengthen the back muscles. Here are six easy-to-do exercises that you can do at home to help combat back pain:

Cat-Cow Stretch 

  • Begin on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  • Inhale as you drop your belly towards the floor and lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling. 
  • Exhale as you arch your spine towards the ceiling and tuck your chin towards your chest. This completes one repetition.
  • Complete 15 to 20 reps and repeat three to four times a day.

Supine Trunk Rotation

  • Lie face-up on an exercise mat or comfortable surface. Lift your legs off the ground with your knees bent at 90 degrees into a tabletop position. Squeeze a small foam roller, rolled towel or similar object between your knees. Extend your arms out by your sides.
  • Continue to squeeze the object and hold the bent position as you slowly drop them towards one side as far as you can. Ensure your opposite shoulder blade remains on the floor.
  • Then, use the core muscles to bring your legs back to the center.
  • Repeat on the other side. This completes one repetition.
  • Complete 2 sets of 15 reps.

Prone Press-Up

  • Lie face-down on an exercise mat or comfortable surface. Place your palms at chest level.
  • Keeping your hips on the ground, push your upper body up off the floor until your elbows are as straight as possible.
  • Complete 10 reps, three times a day.

Pallof Press

  • Attach a resistance band to a sturdy anchor point, such as a squat rack or pole. Choose a resistance band with a level of resistance that you can comfortably handle.
  • Stand perpendicular to the anchor point with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold the resistance band with both hands at chest height, with your elbows bent.
  • Engage your core and keep your hips facing forward as you press the resistance band away from your chest, extending your arms fully. Your hands should be directly in front of your chest and the band should be parallel to the ground.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly bring the resistance band back to your chest.
  • Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.

Side-Lying Hip Axial Rotations

  • Lie on your side on a raised surface (couch, bed, bench or table), bend your top knee so that the bottom of your foot points behind you. Let the bottom leg hang off the surface from the knee down.
  • Stand a foam roller or similar object on the ground in front of you
  • Lower your bottom ankle down as you internally rotate at the hip.
  • Then, lift your bottom ankle up as high as you can as you externally rotate the hip. Try to maintain contact between that bottom knee and the foam roller throughout.
  • Complete 2 sets of 12 reps.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

  • Lie face-up on an exercise mat or comfortable surface. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other on your stomach. 
  • Slowly inhale through your nose 
  • Exhale through your nose quietly
  • Complete this breathing exercise for 2 to 3 minutes, three times daily

It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any exercise routine, especially if you have a history of back problems or other medical conditions. These exercises can be modified to suit your needs and abilities. If you are still unsure of the aforementioned exercises or require more information, your friendly therapists at Altima Physio in Milton are here to help! We offer no-obligation phone call or in-person assessments to make sure these exercises are right for you.