Low Back Pain
Low back pain is the most common injury that physiotherapists and massage therapists treat. In fact it is said that up to 80 % of us will have low back pain at some point in our lives.It is pain severe enough that we will miss time from work and/or taking care of loved ones. As always, the best medicine is to prevent pain. When it comes to low back pain there are many things that can be done to prevent Low Back Pain. This includes using the proper lifting techniques, proper posture and ergonomics at work, yoga – the list goes on. But the one I would like to talk about today is strengthening.
First, let me debunk a myth. Sit ups and crunches will not help prevent low back pain. Weighted extensions and dead lifts will not help prevent low back pain. Although these are important muscles of the trunk, these muscles produce movement and power not stability. It is very rare to find a low back injury that is caused by not enough movement or poor power. Most low back pain is caused by disc injury, joint stress and postural issues. To prevent these injuries, stability exercises must be done.
The stability or deep core muscles lay deeper in the body and create a cylinder around the spine to support it and reduce joint stress. This layer of muscles can be strengthened by completing planks. Planks can take on many forms depending on the muscles strength you already have. Beginners should start on their elbows and knees, while the more advanced person can complete complex patterns of movement including commando crawling. Side planks are also an important option. For variety, working with a half or full ball can add a core element to your workout. Simple exercises include bridging or completing extensions on a ball. Choosing where to begin depends on your current strength and if you are in any pain. Physiotherapists are expert at prescribing exercises, just ask and we will be glad to get you started.