Low Back Pain
Rid yourself of Low Back Pain with our Simple, Effective Exercises
Lower back pain is something we’ve all experienced at one point or another. It can vary from slight niggles where it causes you slight discomfort and affects your concentration such as at work or in a social setting. On other occasions however it can be so bad it affects your ability to function in everyday life. This can involve being completely laid up so you lose valuable work time and, if you are committed to your sports and fitness, unable to apply any consistency to your training regimes, leading to a downturn in your fitness and confidence. The effect on your mental wellbeing should also not be underestimated as being side lined due to injury for a considerable period of time can lead to feelings of despair and anxiety such as thinking you will never get better or that it will take a long time to do so.
The good news however is that with the advances in physiotherapy and treatment options over the years, the ability to recover from low back injuries in a quick and reasonable time has greatly improved. According to many health experts, in particular the NHS, remaining active is a great way to recover more quickly. Unless the injury is completely debilitating, in which case it would be better to see a medical professional, this is an easy, useful way to get your body back on track so you can get back to enjoying your life unencumbered. Some simple techniques include walking around your house to begin with and then advancing to a stroll to your local shops. As simple as these exercises are you will soon begin to notice the beneficial effects as the pain begins to ease in your lower back and you discover you are able to go back to the activities you were doing before unhindered. What is not recommended during this recovery period is anything which places additional strain on your back such as stretching or activities which place additional strain on your back. Doing these can potentially set your recovery back even further and result in increased pain.
Exercise rather than rest will always be better for your back even though you might think to the contrary. After all, if you are resting it might seem there is less likelihood of contributing to an already existing injury and more chance of recovering if you are inactive. This is not the case however. Starting to move is good for your back and exercises for your low back can even strengthen your back, stomach and leg muscles in the long term. What is right for you however will depend on how serious your back pain is and the precise location of the pain. When you first begin to exercise you will notice some mild discomfort which should soon disappear. This is a result of your muscles becoming stronger and adapting to the exercises. It is not advisable however to begin these exercises without first finding out which ones are right for you. There are a range of different, effective exercises and treatments available which we can provide guidance on to get your recovery moving as quickly as possible.
Sitting Pelvic Tilts
You begin this exercise by sitting upright on a firm surface such as the edge of your bed, a stool or chair and even your toilet. If you are using a chair you should move forwards so your back is away from the back of the chair with your weight through the seat bones. Separate your feet and knees and place both hands on top of your knees. Now drop your trunk down from a point on your breastplate so you are slumping your weight through your tailbone and tipping your pelvis and back down. Your shoulders round but you keep your head level and eyes focused straight ahead. Sit up straight and roll forwards on to your sitting bones, making your pelvis tilt slightly forward and bringing your breastbone up and forward. This will open up your chest and shoulders whilst stretching your back upright. During this process your head should again remain level with your gaze focused straight ahead. The Sitting Pelvic Tilt should be repeated 3 – 5 times at a steady pace to gain maximum benefit. It is a great exercise for correcting posture and allowing fluidity of movement in your trunk which is often lost when changes of posture occur. It also encourages deeper breathing and ultimately better lung expansion.
Lower Trunk Rotation
With this exercise make sure to lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms out to the sides and keep your shoulders on the mat at all times. Keeping your knees together, drop them to one side, rotating your torso before returning to the starting position and allowing your knees to fall to the opposite side. When doing this exercise make sure to drop your knees only so far as is comfortable. You may also want to hold the stretch on either side. By gently stretching the muscles in your lower back and core you help to increase flexibility and relieve painful pressure in the lower back. You should repeat this 5 to 10 times on each side, once or twice per day. As a result you will find your core muscles becoming stronger and your range of motion also increasing.
Pelvic Tilt and Lift
Lie on your back with your legs bent and place a small towel between your knees whilst keeping your feet a hip’s width apart. Begin by taking a deep breath in which allows your stomach to inflate. Breathe out, gathering your tummy and pelvic floor. Repeat this process and, as you breathe out, gather your stomach, your pelvic floor and add the pelvic tilt by pushing your heels down which should tilt your pelvis upwards so it is just off the mat to a height of 1 to 2 inches. Breathe in and lower your pelvis back down making sure you roll down one vertebrae at a time to relax your pelvis. Repeat this movement then remove the towel and bring your legs down, one by one, starting with the right then the left before returning to the starting position. This exercise again strengthens your core resulting in less chance of injury and pain including low back pain. This is because your core is now doing the work and not your low back.
If you are worried about low back pain then contact us so we can look into the most appropriate treatment for you. Don’t remain silent thinking it is not serious and will soon go away; it could lead to much worse pain in the long term.
Also published on Medium.