Many people are bothered by lower back pain. The pain can be the result of an injury, arthritis or poor posture. No matter why the pain is there it is often debilitating. The thing that people who are not in constant pain do not realize is how much energy is taken from the person that is suffering from the pain. The pain can cause sleep deprivation which leads to the inability to concentrate and the feeling of being tired. There are many things that can be done to help with back pain. One of the most effective is abdominal exercise.
Many people do not realize how much the abdominal muscles help to support the lower back. By keeping these muscles strong the back is supported more. Exercises that stretch and strengthen the abdominal area can greatly alleviate the pain. Abdominal exercise is usually done lying on your back. For some people with severe back pain getting off the floor from a laying position can be quite difficult. For these people they can begin to strengthen the stomach muscles by performing the abdominal exercise in bed. This is not as affective as doing them on the hard surface of the floor, but it can begin the strengthening process so that the person can get to the point of lying on the floor.
Another effective and joint friendly way to begin the process of strengthening the stomach muscles is through deep breathing exercises. These are exercises that can be done in any position and at anytime throughout the day. Simply sit or stand very erect and pull in the abdominal muscles as you take in deep breaths of air. Hold the breath and slowly exhale, keeping the stomach muscles held firm. Repeat this procedure several times throughout the day. The deep breathing will also help relax tense muscles that may contribute to the pain level.
A more advanced abdominal exercise is doing belly crunches. This involves lying flat on your back with your knees raised and you feet planted firmly on the ground. Place your hands behind your head and lift the head and shoulders a few inches off the ground. Hold that position for a few seconds and go back down. Repeat this for a number of times. The deep breathing can be added to the abdominal exercise by inhaling and exhaling as you rise and fall. There are many variations that can be done with this basic exercise, such as reaching your arms out in front of you between your knees as you rise. If you alternate one arm than the next over your stomach as if you are climbing a rope you will work the abdominal muscles that are higher. Repeating these simple moves in the morning and evening will help to warm your back muscles as you prepare for work or sleep. Warming the muscles through stretching also helps to alleviate the pain.