Below are some exercise, that you might be able to do to help ease an acute onset of low back pain. If these exercises aggravate your condition they are either wrong for your condition or you are doing them wrong. If you decide to visit Back-in-Action we will be able to offer you more specific advice on exercises to help with your problem.
Please follow the instructions carefully: remember to breathe, do not bounce, do not push/ pull too hard. If they hurt, try doing them a lot more gently – i.e. pain free range of movement only. If they still aggravate, stop doing them immediately. If pain persists after the exercise try using ice or heat. Providing you are comfortable doing them, repeat the exercises 3-6 times a day initially. Consult with a Back-in-Action chiropractor as soon as possible. These exercises can be done on the floor or on a bed.
It is unlikely that all of these exercises will help one particular condition. If you follow the advice and do the one’s that are fairly comfortable (i.e. avoid pain) you should be able to self-select a good exercise for yourself.
Pelvic Rock Exercise Done gently and in a pain free range of movement this can be beneficial for most low back pain. Lie flat in a relaxed position, both knees bent and feet placed flat on the floor. The feet can be slightly a part, with the knees slightly turned in. Perform the pelvic rock by tucking your tail bone in between your legs, tightening the tummy muscles and allowing the arch of the back to flatten. The back should not be lifted and should remain in contact with the surface you’re lying on. Relax, let the back arch, tummy relax and lift up to the ceiling, the buttock firmly pressing in to the floor. Remember this is a pain free exercise. Go as far as you can one way or the other. The movement should be a gentle seesaw. Repeat 15-20 times.
Two-Knees-To-Side Exercise This exercise can often be very effective, but go pain free. You might find you roll just a little to one side and a much more to the other. Lie on your back, with your feet down, knees bent and back fairly flat to the floor. Roll both your knees together very slowly from one side to the other, within your comfort level. Initially the low back may not move much from the floor. This exercise can be done as a gentle mobilisation (hold a few seconds – repeat 10 times, may be moving a little further on each) or a longer stretch (hold up to a minute repeat 2-3 times). Again if you push too hard you’re probably not receiving the full benefit.
McKenzie Back Extension This exercise can help relieve some disk problems and help increase the arch in the lower back, however it can aggravate other back conditions, so proceed with caution. Lie on your stomach. Do a partial push up, first lifting your head, then shoulders and upper back, but allow your pelvis to remain on the floor. Do not force the arch too much. Hold for a count of 5 seconds. Relax back to the starting position. Repeat 3-5 times if it is beneficial.
Two-Knees-To-Chest Exercise This exercise is good for stretching out tight muscles in the lower back but can aggravate other back conditions, so proceed with caution. Lie on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor an arms at your side. Make sure your low back is fairly flat to the floor. Bring both knees to chest, clasping your hands either around your knees as in the picture or on the back of your thighs if this hurts your knees. As you gently pull your knees to chest, you should a mild stretch in the low back. After 15 seconds this should ease off and you should have to pull your knees up to your chest to get the same feel of pull in the low back. If you don’t get this you are probably pulling too hard. Hold for up to 60 seconds, take a breather and repeat 2-3 times if it is beneficial.
From the Preston Chiropractor Team
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