Physiotherapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain
Welcome to our article about physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain.
As Toronto’s most comprehensive boutique health clinic, Integra Health Centre offers professional physiotherapy, osteopathy, massage therapy, and chiropractic services that can do wonders to relieve your lower back pain.
Unfortunately, as much as you might want to, you can’t live in our clinic! When low back pain strikes, there are a number of things you can do at home to relieve the pain and ensure it doesn’t recur with the same intensity, over and over again.
Why Exercise is Key for Low Back Pain
Exercise is obviously something that everybody should be doing in some form, regardless of age and physical fitness level. However, doing exercises specifically for the lower back may seem counterintuitive because many other types of injuries require things like rest and elevation, as opposed to activity, in order to heal properly. It may seem odd to move a body part precisely when it hurts so much. Our practitioners often encounter patients who say something to the effect of ‘I had to take 2 Robaxicet just to get out of bed, and now you want me to exercise?!’
The truth is that most back pain passes within six weeks (which, as you know, is a very long time when you can’t stand up straight) and even in people with chronic back pain, the pain will eventually pass, but if they do nothing, it will also return. Each time, the pain can take a little longer to resolve. By performing specific exercises to strengthen the back and take pressure off the spine, we lessen the chances of re-injury or recurrence of low back pain, whether it’s from improper posture, carrying heavy loads, or simply having weak muscles that cannot cope with the daily load placed on the spine.
What Your Back Really Needs to Feel Better
As humans, we rely on the muscles that are attached to the spine to take the pressure off our spine; the spine alone, as strong as everyone is always saying it is, simply can’t take the pressure we put on it each and every day. When our back muscles are weak, the discs and joints of the spine start taking more and more pressure, and sustaining greater wear and tear. So really, what your back needs to feel better is stronger muscles, and this can be achieved in just a few minutes of consistent exercise each day. Our recommendation is to see a physiotherapist who can design a program of action tailored to your level of pain and your body’s specific needs. However, if you have low back pain, with or without pain radiating down the leg, you can begin a regimen of gentle exercises on your own, to provide some relief.
Best Physiotherapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain
Many of the best physiotherapy exercises for low back pain fall into two broad categories: stretching, and strengthening.
Proper stretching keeps muscles from atrophying from disuse, and smooths out spasms that may be occurring. Try:
- Slowly going from all fours into the yoga position known as Child’s Pose, holding, and repeating.
- Lying on your back on the floor with shoulders on the mat, arms extended, keeping your bent knees together and gently rolling your knees and pelvis first to one side of the floor, then the other.
- The yoga position known as Cobra.
Making your abs stronger not only makes you look great in a swimsuit, it takes the pressure off your spine. Try:
- Sit-ups, crunches
- Leg raises at the gym
- Pelvic tilts
For professional medical attention and a customized exercise program to get you moving pain free again, book an appointment at Integra today.