There’s little doubt that best way to combat back pain is by strengthening the muscles in the core, back and shoulders. This includes the abdominal muscles, the pelvic floor, multifidous, internal and external obliques, the diaphragm and the erector spinae muscles.
Your physiotherapist is the best person to prescribe targeted exercises to deal with your specific injuries, condition, fitness level and history. To design an exercise program that’s going to be safe and effective for you specifically, your physiotherapist will take note of your goals, limitations, strength, fitness, flexibility, activity tolerance and more and come up with a tailored plan.
Your exercise program might focus on clinical Pilates, or could be a combination of therapies including hydrotherapy, gym rehabilitation, exercise therapy, and a range of other physiotherapy treatment methods. They might monitor your progress and measure your outcomes, or provide education to help you understand your condition and the prescribed exercises. Whatever their approach, your physiotherapist should be your first port-of-call for upper and lower back pain treatment.
However, there are some exercises for lower back pain that most people can do safely at home in conjunction with professional care. Make sure you speak to a healthcare professional before undertaking any program of exercise.
Exercises for Lower Back Pain
Pelvic Floor Contractions
Pelvic floor exercises can be performed in a sitting, standing or all-fours position. To start with, sit comfortably in a chair in a neutral position, with your feet flat on the ground and tailbone sticking out slightly. To engage the pelvic floor, take a deep breath in and on the exhale imagine drawing the pelvic floor upwards and inwards, as if you need to go to the toilet and are “holding it in”. Hold the contraction gently for one breath, and then relax. Repeat the exercise, holding for two breaths the second time and increase the hold by one breath each time up to the count of five breaths.
Deep Abdominal Contractions
Lie in a comfortable position on your back (back not too straight, not too arched) with your knees bent and pointing towards the ceiling. Breathe in slowly and deeply. As you exhale, contract your pelvic floor (see above) and very gently draw your belly button down into your belly. Hold this position for ten seconds (or a shorter time if it is uncomfortable), continuing to breathe, and then gently release the muscles on an exhale breath. Be careful not to engage your hip flexors.
Because the positions and movements in these exercises are so important to get right, it’s best to try them out with your physiotherapist or clinical Pilate’s instructor present to guide you through them, at least at first. Doing these exercises regularly over a few days should help to relieve back pain, but to be sure you’re targeting the right area and addressing the causative issues, it’s important to get an assessment from a qualified physiotherapist.
To book an appointment with a physiotherapist for back pain, contact the team at Aim Physiotherapy Adelaide by calling 08 8331 1557 today.