When experiencing back pain, it is important to stay moving, and regular exercise can actually help to reduce the risk of recurrent injuries. One thing to note though is that the same exercise program does not work for everyone, but under the guidance of a physical therapist, they can help you determine an exercise program that will work for you. A physical therapist can also help to modify exercises in order to prevent compensations that can actually make the problem works. To help give you a place to start, here is a list of the top 5 recommended exercises at STRIVE Therapy Systems for clients experiencing back pain:
#1) The best and most noted advice I give to my patient's is MOVEMENT. Make sure you move your body within a pain free range to keep blood flow moving, muscles working, and to break the pain cycle. Bed rest is NOT the best medicine.
#2) Pelvic Movement: finding your "safe or neutral" pelvic position is the first exercise to be performed to keep your spine in a protected position. In standings or on your back, roll your pelvic forward and backward in a gentle fashion to allow your lumbar muscles and abdominal muscle to stay activated; your neutral position is the place you note the least amount of stress.
#3) Dead Bugs: The best anterior core activation exercise to engage the abdomen and turn off the over active back muscles that are causing you pain.
#4) Bird Dogs: A basic form of this exercise is best to involve the neuro-dynamic aspect of resetting the "CORE" and initiates lumbar stabilization of the low back.
#5) Hip Lifts: I find activating the hip stabilizers "gluteus medius" to be very helpful to my patients in pain. The hip stabilizers help in unloading the stress on the lumbar spine and providing the initial stages of gaining the strength needed for functional movements. ( stairs, sit to stands, stairs)
Remember mechanics is key and if your pain continues or progressively gets worse, speak to a physical therapist or healthcare for recommendations.
Last week we discussed ways to prevent low back pain from occurring but what happens when you are already having pain. As a physical therapist I think there are some misconceptions people have about how to deal with their back pain. [...]
A low back pain patient walks into a physical therapy clinic. It may sound like the start of a riddle however, there is no funny punch line. Ask a physical therapist about low back pain and most will answer that it can be complex and that not all back pain presents the same. With 30 bones that make up the spine and more than 20 muscles that have attachments to it, it is no wonder the back is prone to injury. There are a variety of things that can go wrong. Some of the common culprits muscle strain, disc related injuries, hypo and hyper mobility as well as sacroiliac joint dysfunctions. So how can we prevent these injuries from happening? Before we can answer that question I think it is important to get an understanding of the anatomy so you are better able to understand the source of your pain. [...]