Low back pain is a very common problem that will affect up to 70% of us at some stage in our lives.
The million dollar question is “how do we prevent low back pain”? There have been thousands of studies dedicated to answering this question. Unfortunately there is no simple answer. The true answer is multifaceted and is essentially different for every person on the planet.
In recent times there has been a large emphasis placed on core stability and trunk stability in the prevention of low back pain however very recent research has shown that general exercise is just as effective in the prevention of low back pain as specific core exercise.
One of the common precursors we see to an episode of low back pain is the “build up” of stiffness in the spine and hips. this is often due to people leading a sedentary lifestyle and performing jobs or tasks which require a large amount of sitting. examples of which professional drivers, office workers, process workers and other clerical staff.
The following exercises it would be effective at preventing this build up of stiffness and therefore preventing episodes of lower back pain.
1. Back extension- lie on the floor on your front with your hands flat on the floor in line with your shoulders (push up position). slowly push up with your hands lifting your trunk and shoulders off the ground curving your back backwards while leaving your hips on the floor. It is not necessary to hold the stretch at the top the importance in the movement through range. perform between 10 and 30 repetitions.
2. Childs pose- Start on your hands and knees. Sit back on your heels and stretch your arms as for forward as you feel comfortable. Hold x 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat 1 to 3 times.
3. Single knee to chest- lie on your back with your shoulders and arms relaxed and your knees bent up to approximately 90 degrees. Gently lift your foot off the floor and pull your knee in towards your chest using your hands. Hold this stretch for approximately 15 to 20 seconds and repeat two to three times on each side.
4. Knee rocks/ double knee to chest- lie on your back with your shoulders and arms relaxed and your knees bent up to approximately 90 degrees. Lift both feet off the floor and pull your knees in towards your chest. Gently rock the knees back and forward by 10 to 20 repetitions.
5. Low back rotation- lie on her back in a relaxed position. Lift 1 foot up off the floor with your knee at 90 degrees and let it fall across your body to the other side. use your opposite hand to gently push your knee down towards the floor. I.e.if twisting the left leg use the right hand to push down. Hold for approximately 10 to 20 seconds and repeat two to three times each side.