We are all getting itch feet and want to be outside more now that the weather is getting warmer. This topic is really appropriate for this time of year, as we all want to get fitter to enjoy an active summer. I often treat patients that are trying to get fitter and stronger, but they are re-aggravating their chronic lower back pain. Enjoy this month’s article.
Tips on how to safely build up your strength and endurance in your lumbar spine without aggravating your Chronic Lower Back Pain.
- Myth of NO PAIN, NO GAIN
When you are recovering from a back injury it is important NOT to push through pain. In Rehabilitation at Nose Creek Sport Physiotherapy, we work up to pain, but then stop if we experience any pain. The old myth of “no pain, no gain” does not apply in the rehab of a lower back injury.
- SAFE Planking exercises
Planking exercises are the safest way to build up your spinal strength and endurance. We have five levels of planking exercises that you can work through as you progress your hold times. The plank positions allow for maximal muscle activity, with very little joint movement. The traditional sit up, will do nothing but make you mechanical spinal pain worse, because you are moving painful and swollen joints. Typically at Nose Creek Sport Physiotherapy, once you are able to hold a position for 1 minute pain free for 1 week, we will progress you to the next level.
- Integrate these planking exercises into your fitness/lifestyle routine.
In rehabilitation we usually will start patients on daily exercises because the amount that they can do is minimal. Once your chronic lower back pain is resolving we build up a more comprehensive exercise program that should be done 3 times a week on alternating days for 4 to 8 weeks. It takes 6 weeks for most muscle to grow. To prevent a recurrence of your chronic lower back pain, it is vital to maintain the strength of these muscles by doing these exercises at least two times per week for the rest of your life.
Integrate these simple, safe Planking exercises after you do your cardiovascular workout. Whether your cardio workout is walking, biking, swimming, or running, you simply add these exercises at the end of that workout. Our bodies were built to move, so we must keep moving to maintain our overall health, especially our spinal health.
Oh by the way if you feel that the exercises are getting too easy, contact us for the next level of strengthening exercises that would be appropriate for your injury. We can re-test your strength and endurance, and provide you with more challenging exercises, and take your spinal function to the next level!
Blair balances his busy professional life by staying active. He enjoys cycling, swimming, working out, hiking, camping and snowboarding, depending on the season. Blair shares his free time with his wife, son and daughter outside on the weekends. He has learned to enjoy the journey, as life really is too short.
Latest posts by Blair Schachterle BScPT, Dip Manip PT, Dip Sport PT, FCAMPT, CGIMS (see all)
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