staff article posted July 25, 2016
Research has shown that regular low back mobilization through simple stretches and strengthening exercises is the most effective and efficient method to prevent and recover from low back pain. The old philosophy of bed rest for a "pulled back" is no more. Continued motion is the best way to relieve pain.
Be inspired to stay active, it takes a real commitment to regular physical activity to sustain a pain free life style. Have you ever heard someone say that their back is out? Today modern studies have provided us with a greater understanding of the biomechanical structures that support and allow for mobility within the spine or back. This understanding has provided us with the evidence that the lumbar spine is not a fragile structure and maintaining a balanced musculature through regular mobilizations is the key to a pain free life.
The following low back stretches are quick and easy to execute. You will require a space large enough for you to lie on the floor. You may desire a mat or floor covering to protect your clothing. For the first stretch you will lie prone or tummy down with your palms on the floor and your elbows bent or flexed and pulled tight to your sides. The intention of this stretch is to contract the spinal column in extension while lengthening the anterior trunk muscles namely the abdominals. This stretch will also open up the chest and shoulders. Extend the head and trunk up and back utilizing the posterior back muscles and using the arms simply to guide the movement. Hold for 2 seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times.
For the next stretch you will roll onto your back and bend your knees placing your feet on the floor. The intention of this stretch is again to contract the spinal column in extension along with the hip extensors (Gluteal muscles and Hamstrings) while lengthening the anterior trunk muscles and hip muscles. The arms should be extended out along your sides palms down. Now you will lift your trunk up into the air extending upward using back, core and leg muscles allowing your arms to guide and stabilize the motion only. Hold for 2 seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times.
This next stretch may be the only one you can do if you are currently experiencing some low back pain. If you are in pain lie on the floor if you can or a bed if you do not think you can get back up off the floor. Bend your knees and bring them to your chest and hold them with your arms for 2 to34 seconds then release. Repeat this move 3 to 10 times.
As health care providers therapist's need to have a selection of quick and easy low back stretches that they can demonstrate to their patients and clients for home care purposes. Next we will take a look at a set of 3 exercises that are both lengthening and strengthening in nature. The combination of 6 exercises provides a nice daily routine that can be performed at home.
It can be a major challenge to mobilize and stay active in our modern world. On average a US study found that 22.5 percent of individuals who participated in the study across all 50 states reported that they do not do any physical exercise outside of work. In addition 30% reported that they have a sedentary occupation.
Low back pain is the number 1 reason people request leave from work. The need to implement a daily mobility plan is clear. Take the time and effort to explore your options. Activities that inspire passion and pure joy are much more likely to motivate one to take part in on a daily or weekly schedule. Establishing a regular routine that includes low back stretches is vital to optimal health and physical performance.
The first exercise strengthens the gluteal muscles and the other hip extensors. Use a stationary chair with a back, stand behind the chair so you can use the back of the chair to stabilize yourself. Extend your leg out behind you as far as you can and hold for 2 to 3 seconds then relax it down. Repeat 5 to 10 times with both legs.
Once you core muscles become stronger you should be able to perform this exercise with very little support or assistance from the chair. The goal is to be able to maintain your posture without rotating your hips. It requires your abdominals and all of your hip muscles to control and maintain your hips level to the ground and without rotation to either side.
The next exercise requires that you lie on the floor you may want to use a mat, exercise table or bed. Lying on your back bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Now flex your hips and bring your knees up keeping a 90 degree angle at the knee. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times. As you increase your stamina you can increase the repetitions.
The last exercise has you on your hands and knees so make sure you have a mat to cushion your knees. You will want to remember to keep your back straight, by not allowing it to sway, keeping your hips and shoulders level. Now extend your leg up and back while pointing your toes and raising your chin up by extending your neck. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds do 5 to 10 repetitions and repeat with the other leg.
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References and Resources
Published on Jun 26, 2012
Category Sports License Standard YouTube License
Published on Jun 21, 2012
Category Sports License Standard YouTube License
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