Best exercises for chronic low back paiThis great article explaining the best exercises for someone with chronic low back pain was found in the October 29, 2016, Faribault.com web site.
BEST EXERCISES FOR CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN
By JASON HOISINGTON Guest columnist 23 hrs ago (0)
Based on simple statistics, we’ve all had, or at least will have, some form of low back pain (LBP) at some point in our lives. The term “chronic” applies to LBP that’s been present for at least three months. It has been consistently reported that LBP becomes increasingly difficult to resolve when it persists for three or more months. This month’s topic is about which exercises have been found to best address chronic low back pain (cLBP).
Many studies have investigated the effects of stabilization exercises in patients with chronic low back pain. One review of six recently published studies followed patients over a four- to 16-week time frame. Investigators noted that participants who engaged in exercise, such as the use of a Swiss ball, floor or “land-based” exercises or sling exercises with some focusing on the abdominal muscles while others looked the extensors, reported improvements in pain and disability that were not seen among those in the non-exercise control groups.
Additionally, one study also looked at changes in bone density between both groups and found increased bone density in the exercise group and a reduction in bone density among participants who refrained from exercise. Another study reported waist isometric strength increases in their exercise group.
One study found the cross section of the multifidus (MF) muscles — the deep low back, fine motor muscle groups that is considered to be one of the most important targets for low back strengthening — significantly increased after eight weeks of exercise. Another study observed the same effect for the deep transverse abdominis muscles.
These and other studies clearly show that core stabilization exercises can improve pain and disability scores in patients with cLBP, while those who do not exercise do not improve and, in fact, may actually worsen. So, what are core stabilization exercises?
Here are some Swiss ball options. Try these five to 10 times, increase repetitions and hold times as you improve your strength.
– Sitting pelvic tilts. This can be done with both feet (or eventually one foot when you’re ready for an added challenge) on the floor while rocking the pelvis front to back, left to right, or in a circular or “figure-8” manner.
– Bridge. Start sitting and then walk out so the ball is between the shoulder blades. Keep your trunk parallel to the floor. Push your heels into the floor to activate the hip extensors (buttock muscles) and then walk back up to a sitting position. You can further challenge your balance and hip extensor strength by raising one leg.
– Sit-ups. Start sitting and roll halfway back and hold it for different lengths of time.
– See-Saw. Hug the ball and roll out into a push-up position. Position the ball under your pelvis and lift one leg at a time toward the ceiling. Alternate between the left and right legs. You can do both legs together once you get used to this to make it more challenging.
There are many other Swiss ball exercises, but these are some good ones to start with.
Jason Hoisington, DC is a chiropractor in Faribault and member of Chiro-Trust. For more articles like this and on other relevant health topics visit his blog at http://www.DrJasonHoisingtonBlog.com. He can be reached at 332-8623.
Stay Flexible and Keep Moving.