Preventing back pain or maintaining an already strong back can mean fewer doctor visits, less medication and less missed activity. Back pain is the second highest reason Americans call in sick to work after the common cold. Having the strength needed in back muscles is just one step in a healthy back. Knowing the biomechanics of the back can also help keep a back injury-free. What is proper posture? How does the back interact with the neck, buttocks, or legs?
The lower back is more susceptible to back injury. Although the spinal column is made so that the largest vertebrae are located the lower back, there is still a lot of pressure and weight carried in that area. Weakened muscles can lead to muscle strain (muscles that are torn or overstretched). Carrying some of the weight in the legs can reduce the amount of pressure that the back experiences, so strengthening leg muscles is an important part in the prevention of back pain. Strong, flexible legs can take their share of the body’s weight.
This Wall Slide can strengthen the legs and hips and will also work on the back a bit:
Lean against a wall with your feet facing forward and placed about a foot away from the wall. Your feet should be a little less than shoulder width apart. Align yourself with shoulders back and your head balanced on top of your neck. Tilt your pelvis slightly away from the wall, so that the curve at the lower part of your back isn’t great. Engage your abdominal muscles and breathe. Slowly slide down the wall until your knees are bent at a ninety degree angle. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds and then slowly slide yourself back up the wall. Repeat this 1-3 more times, making sure to breathe the whole time. Discontinue and consult a health care professional if you start to feel pain.