Exercises to assist with Lower Back Pain

Posted on: Dec 7th, 2017 by The Physio Movement | Categories: Sports Medicine & Nutrition

Lower Back Pain Townsville Physiotherapy

Exercises to assist with Lower Back Pain

Just about everyone will suffer from low back pain to some degree in their lifetime, varying from an acute flare-up lasting anywhere from a day to a week, and for some people the pain can last months or even years.

Back pain is a very broad area and it can be caused by many issues from mechanical (physical injury) to neural, so the best rehabilitation personally for you can vary depending on where the cause of your pain is coming from.

As a general rule of thumb aside from those suffering an acute back injury (slipping and falling onto your back, landing on something, lifting or twisting with trauma etc) it is recommended to be active and have know your active flare-up strategies.

As an Exercise Physiologist, my best single recommendation to people suffering from back pain is walking. Walking is a fantastic way for the body to utilise and move many different muscles that all contribute to easing low back pain. Pelvic and trunk rotation during arm and leg swing of walking helps to move the lumbar vertebrae as well as associated muscles. When walking correctly you are using the gluteal muscles and your legs to hold your bodyweight which will ideally de-load muscles of the low back and just the fact that you are moving and not staying still is a big way to reduce stiffness.

Whilst walking with normal arm-swings, standing tall and trying to walk as smoothly as possible without tensing or hesitating with movements, this will cause the body to stiffen and reduce the likelihood of the muscles working smoothly together. There is no speed goal so you can walk as slow or as quick as you feel comfortable.

How long or “hard” you walk will depend on your pain threshold, stop walking when your pain increases by 2 pain points out of 10. (if you have a back pain of 2/10, walk to a 4/10 and stop).

Aside from walking there is evidence for all types of movement to help improve low back pain from yoga to Pilates & generalised gym programs, the main thing all 3 components have in common is they are moving the body and avoiding sitting or lying for hours on end.

An example of some specific exercises for Low back pain are;

  • Side planks
  • Forward flexions
  • Leg lowers
  • Thoracic rotations

These are exercises that work the muscles and are associated with your ‘core’. There are variations in regards  to difficulty level and all of these exercises should adhere by the 2 points of pain and being strict with posture. I still believe this should be done in conjunction with some aerobic activity and whole-body routine.

If you are suffering from low back pain and have been for a while, It may be beneficial to come and see one of our health professionals at TPM for an appropriate program and progression may be the answer you are looking for.

Physiotherapy Townsville - The Physio Movement


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