For those that have lower back issues, what exercises/stretches would you recommend. My back is in a mess of pain and season is just starting!
Thanks in advance
I'd start with physical thearpy but try to avoid the chiro if you can. I've heard that once you see a chiro it's almost impossible to stop. I've had back issues like no other, but daily stretching, low impact cardio and yoga has helped quite a bit. I would also seach these forums for tips on correct set up posture. I learned a few things there that I was able to incorporate into my own set-up.
Were's the pain at?
Do you feel numbness or tingling down the side of your leg?
Most of the time, lower back pain, near the crease in the lower back is caused by poor core stability, and/or tight hamstrings.
Poor core stability will cause your body to tell you, hey you need to watch out, you can damage yourself. There are times when my back hurts, i will do core stability exercises, and i feel fine afterwards, because i told my body its stable. I didn't immediately improve my strength. Tight hamstrings will basically pull on your gluts, which pull on your back. Also sitting down all day with poor posture will cause strain on your back as well. Another area, i put under core is, hip flexors, if these are week, then your posture will suffer.
If you feel numbness down your leg, or tingling, then that's a nerve issue. Probably stress is put on your sciatic nerve. If the pain is near your spine, you might be looking at a slipped disk. Both of these are consult with your doctor and possible physical therapy.
I have had this issue since high school due to a track injury. PT would be much better than Chiro because it has to do with the SI joint being pulled out of position due to tightness in several muscle groups. If you can't do PT, then I recommend the following:
Quad, hamstring and hip stretches. You need to equally stretch these areas to maintain balance in the area. Google them and make sure you do them correctly.
Abs - strengthen your abdominals to give the area support. Leg lifts are especially good to provide support. you can add weights to your legs when it gets too easy. Lie on your back and place your hands under the lower part of your butt. Tuck your butt under and lift both legs at the same time. Spread them wide and bring them back together on a count of three. Then put them down. Do as many as you can up to 20.
Lower back strengthening exercises like single leg lifts while on your stomach are good.
Best of luck
I also use a foam roller and a rumble roller to stretch out twice a day. The foam roller is awesome for getting the low back to relax and allow itself to be stretched and the rumble roller digs in there and massages everything out. I spend at least 30-45 mins rolling out my low back, hamstrings, quads, and anything else that is tight. It is very uncomfortable at first but in time it is a life saver. General flexibility is definitely important because of how all your muscles are pushing and pulling against one another. Core strength is of course important as we all know also.