Back Pain in Overland? Do this!

Do this to relieve back pain in Overland Park!

Back Pain in Overland? Do this!

Did you know one of the most common exercises we use to get “shredded abs” is also very bad for your spine? Normally we think of exercising to prevent back pain in Overland Park, but there is one common exercise we do that will cause backaches and disc degeneration. Walk into any gym and you’ll see people working on their ab muscles to build that perfect 6-pack or even just trying to reduce the size of their stomach.

Even group classes with professional trainers will have their students do this exercise that is causing harm to the spine. We can get back pain from this exercise. It is one of the most common exercises seen in military training, high school P.E. classes, and is the paramount exercise we think is best for our core: the sit-up.

How to relieve back pain in overland park

Research has shown that repetitive crunching or sit-ups will gradually cause disc herniations in your low back. If we overuse a joint or stress it too much, our body will adapt to deal with the stress. This comes from a physiology law called Wolfe’s Law: a bone will change according to the stresses placed upon it. An analogy would be like using your hands a lot will build a callous to adapt to the stress. Our bones will change shape to deal with the abnormal stress we put on them.

What is a good alternative to sit-ups?

There is one exercise that we always recommend at our Overland Park chiropractic office. This exercise not only helps build a strong core but also prevents back pain and back issues. Our core muscles keep us stable when doing any motion. It helps with everything from bending and lifting to reaching for a can of vegetables on a shelf. If we keep this group of muscles strong we can prevent and reduce back pain.

The plank will engage these muscles. Everyone can do a plank because we can modify it. At our Overland Park chiropractic office, we see patients who have difficulty holding the position on the floor. Instead, those patients start at their kitchen counter and slowly build up endurance and stability over time.

The classic plank is like a push-up position but on your forearms. Push your upper back up so your chest isn’t sagging (this helps keep the shoulders tight and safe). Focus on contracting the core muscles around your belly button and the gluteal muscles in your buttocks.

It should feel like you are slightly pulling your belly button inward as if you are going to cough. That’s the contraction we are looking for. If it feels like your low back muscles are doing all the work, reset and focus really hard on getting that good core contraction.

Try to hold this position for as long as you can, but if you start feeling aches or pains take a rest. The pain is our body telling us the muscles have fatigued and can no longer hold a plank with good form. Do not be discouraged if you cannot hold a plank for very long! These muscles will get stronger over time, and the majority of Americans have difficulty activating their core muscles (which explains why back pain is the #2 reason to visit your doctor).

If you can hold a plank for 2 minutes, then it is time to make it more difficult. Aim to do 3-4 sets of planks every day.
We can make a plank more difficult by elevating the feet, placing the forearms on an unstable surface like an exercise ball, or even lifting one limb up a few inches.

To make a plank easier, try supporting yourself on your hands instead of forearms, using your knees instead of your toes, or elevating your position such as planks against the couch or a wall to reduce the weight.

Planks have many variations that can keep your core strong and prevent back pain. An advanced plank that our chiropractor loves is “pot stirs”, where you place your forearms on an exercise ball and stir your arms in small circles while holding the plank.

Why Choose our Office

At our Overland Park chiropractic office, we see cases of back pain on a daily basis. Just about every case benefits from stability exercises including the plank. However, if back pain is the reason why you are trying to master the plank be sure to talk to a professional.

Dysfunction and degeneration in the spine will not repair through exercise alone. Core strengthening will reduce the pain, but it won’t fix the actual cause of the problem. Talk to your chiropractor to see what is causing your back pain and how we can find a permanent fix.

Our office always gives free consultation, or if you have questions reach out to us. Dr. Tyler Nigus, our Overland Park chiropractor, loves helping patients get better and stay better.

New Patients:


9:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm



Nigus Chiropractic & Acupuncture
7295 West 97th Street
Overland Park, KS 66212
(913) 953-5959