Traditionally physiotherapy has looked to treat the symptom in the back. Trying to find what exactly is the problem with the back when you get back pain. Often the solution is very simple if we just switch our focus to the source of the problem. Rather than look at the pain itself why not look at the reason for the pain in the body as a whole.
If you currently have a back problem then click here for details of how we can help you. For those who just want to avoid having to see a physiotherapist in the future then the following are the exercises are for you:
1. Posture – the single most important aspect of low back health is how you hold yourself. Whether that be at your desk at work or relaxing at home. For more in information on posture please click this link to our article on posture.
2. Quad Stretch with Pelvic Tilt – these first 3 exercises build up in intensity. If you get pain doing one of them it is unlikely you’ll be able to do the following. If you are in pain then you need to give us a call or mail us now so we can help you get the problem sorted! Pull the foot up behind the back side as shown in the picture to get to the point where you start to feel a stretch in the quads. From there push the pelvis up and out, like a pelvic thrust, and this should increase the stretch through the quadriceps and in the hip region. Great for tight quads and knee pain too.
3. Quad Extension – This not only stretches the quads but also the muscles which work with the quads, the hip flexors, and these are the ones that can affect low back pain. Start by sitting on your heels on the floor. Reach your hands out behind you to open up your pelvis and place your hands flat on the floor behind you. This will increase the stretch. If you need to increase the stretch push the pelvis upwards until the stomach is flat as shown.
4. Lumbar Extension – this really affects the hip flexors and muscles that work with them to release any tightness in your low back. Ideally this should be performed over the back of a Swiss Ball but if you don’t have one, or need to practice before you use a wobbly object, you can use the back of the sofa or edge of a bed. Simply arch backwards over the Swiss ball (or whatever you are using) and let the arms and legs hang in a relaxed fashion. You should feel a stretch through your stomach. You may get some sensation in your back also. So long as this is not painful carry on. Hold for a minimum of one minute. Longer if you can cope with all the blood rushing to your head!
5. Half Moon – This will stretch your obliques and the muscles that affect them along the whole of your side. Tight obliques can cause compressive forces in your back and lead to pain. Stand upright with your hands above your head. From this position bend over to the side as shown – making a half moon shape. You may feel the stretch anywhere along the outside of your body. If you feel a compressive sensation on the side to which you’re bending then try the other way first and see if that eases the compression. Hold each stretch for a minute on each side.
And there you have it. These are the exercises that many physiotherapists give to their clients to help them recover and avoid back pain. In our experience as sports therapists these are the most effective one maintain the health of your back. If you do have any questions about these exercises or have any concerns about the health of your back now or in the future then drop us a mail or give us a call on 01793 613352 and we do all we can to give a healthy back for the rest of your life.