BDC Health has been open for 2 years this week – little did we know at the time of opening that just 2 years later we would be fighting a global pandemic. This has been a challenging and scary time for many, but also I hope that we can now look optimistically towards the future as the curve flattens.
It was important that we closed in order to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We also recognise that times of increased stress, restriction on movement and activity can be triggers for pain flares. We are still doing our bit to provide the help and support that we can in these highly challenging times. This has meant a total rethink in our approach, at least until it is safe again to open our doors.
We have undertaken the following steps:
- e-mail contact for all that need our help, advice or to talk. ]
- Arranging telephone or video consultations by request.
- Providing useful home exercises and materials on our social media platforms Facebook & Instagram (If you haven’t seen them… do take a look here).
- Following government and association advice so that we can put the necessary protection in place so that we can open safely as early as possible.
If you have any subject matter/ exercise that you would like us to deal with in our information/ exercise videos please get in touch and let us know.
This week we will be look at basic exercises for strengthening your back.
Low Back Exercises
There are many many different exercises for the low back and many of these can be found on various websites across the internet. The goal for this post is to give a combination of great beginner exercises that can be progressed. Your spine does not necessarily have to built like Arnold Schwarznegger, but improving the endurance of the muscles can be highly beneficial.
For chronic and persistent low back pain it is beneficial to engage in any form of general exercise. The benefits of making sure that you engage in walking and aerobic exercise can be highly rewarding. The key to successfully engaging in exercise during an episode of pain or suffering chronic pain is breaking it down into manageable doses and slowly progressing.
The exercises that I am focussing on today are great foundation exercises that are easy to do. In the clinic these exercises are ones that we often prescribe, tailored and combined with other exercises to tackle any areas of muscular weakness identified during your examination.
Let’s start with a movement exercise, the key is in the gentle motion. Flexing and extending the spine the key is to get comfortable with the movement. With time and repetition you will improve your control and coordination of this movement. It is a great way to warm up your spinal movement.
Start with a 10second hold. Shorter if you can not do this. Incrementally increased by 5-10seconds.
Now let’s start engaging some of your abdominal muscles.
1) Place a hand underneath your low back, to help you maintain a neutral posture.
2) Bend the leg on the opposite side to help maintain your position.
3) Elevate your head and shoulders, don’t strain and continue to breathe normally.
4) Progression: place your hands behind your neck, lift your elbows and brace your abdominal muscles.
Start with a 10second hold. Shorter if you can not do this. Incrementally increased by 5-10seconds. Make sure you do both sides.
1) Lie on your side, elevating your upper body with your elbow directly beneathe your shoulder.
2) Now lift your pelvis and hold. Keep contact with the ground through your elbows and knees. Don’t strain with your neck and make sure you keep your pelvis high.
3) Progression: Elevate from your ankles and elbows.
3 lifts of each limb, each held for 7 seconds.
1) Bring yourself on to all fours, with knees and hands in contact with the ground.
2) Make sure you have a neutral spine. This means the middle ground- your spine should have a slight curve, don’t flatten your back or let your pelvis drop.
3) Slowly lift each limb, starting with your arms. Make sure that you keep breathing and you control your pelvis, don’t allow the position to change. Hold for 7 seconds when level with your body.
4) Progression: Lift 2 limbs at the same time (an arm & a leg on opposite sides).
If you have any further questions regarding these exercises or your spine – or you’d like some further guidance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last but not least, (and now as much as ever) a MASSIVE thank you to NHS Staff & all Key Workers.
Stay safe – and we hope to see you all soon at BDC Health.
(ps. credit note to bensound.com for music in the video)