As an older person, you realize how important exercise is. But some seniors experience lower back pain which keeps them from exercising regularly. Because of this they tend to avoid all types of physical activity. They are rightly concerned about re-injuring their back, or experiencing heightened levels of pain. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can employ that allow you to exercise even if you are an older person with pain in your lower back.
1 – (If you have difficulty getting up from the floor, try this and any other applicable exercises on your couch or on your bed.) Begin on your hands and knees, then slowly push your left leg back as far as you can. Return to the starting position and switch sides. Perform 8 to 10 repetitions with each leg. Practice this hip extension 3 to 5 times a week. This simple exercise improves your range of motion without aggravating your lower back pain.
2 – Flexibility in your spine is extremely important as you age. However, twisting motions that promote flexibility are virtually impossible if you suffer from lower back pain. Try this instead. You are going to perform what is called a pelvic tilt. Lie on your back on the floor, with your feet flat and your legs forming an “A” shape. Push your pelvis up towards your chest and face, without lifting the middle of your back off of the floor. Hold this position until you feel a stretching sensation in your back.
3 – Stability is equally important in your back, for all adults and especially senior citizens. When your back is strong and stable, you actually experience less pain from any lower back condition that you have. Sit on an exercise ball and slowly raise your arm over your head. Alternate from left to right, performing at least 5 repetitions with each arm. This seated arm raise helps you develop stability in your back without aggravating your lower back pain.
4 – A strong core is the key to overall balance, strength, mobility and stability. This means working your abdominals, and it can be done without promoting back pain. A strong core means daily activities like getting up from your chair or your bed are pain-free and simple. With your feet flat on the floor, lie down on your back. Pull your abdominal muscles together, pulling your head and shoulders off of the floor. Repeat these curl ups 5 to 10 times, and only rise as far as you can without pain.