Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Low Back Pain: What Can I Do for It?

Low back pain (LBP) is the second most common reason for doctor visits in the
United States and it is a condition that most of us will at some point in our
lives. Last month, we reviewed the wide acceptance of spinal manipulation as the
treatment of choice for both acute and chronic LBP.  This month, let’s take a
look at what you can do outside the doctor’s office to self-manage acute and
chronic low back pain.

One of the best self-management protocols for LBP is exercise that targets the
lower back. It appears that the optimal time to engage in exercises for the
lower back is during the work day since doing so may help alleviate some of the
overuse and repetitive strain contributing to one’s LBP. Let’s focus on
exercises you can perform from either a sitting or standing position during
short work breaks…

RULES: Perform slowly to a full/firm stretch without pain; take three slow deep
breaths for each; only do exercises that “fit” your job and time limits—this
might be only one every fifteen minutes; make it work!

SITTING EXERCISES: 1) Sitting Forward Bends – bend forward and reach for the
floor (as far as reasonably tolerated). 2) Sitting trunk rotations – twist
slowly left, then right. 3) Cross Leg Stretch – cross one leg over the other;
grasp and pull the crossed leg knee to the opposite shoulder while arching the
back to its maximum until a firm stretch is felt in the buttocks.

STANDING EXERCISES: 1) Hamstring Stretch – place one foot on an elevated surface
(like a chair seat, foot stool, or guard rail); perform an anterior pelvic tilt
by arching your low back until you feel a firm stretch in the hamstrings. Switch
sides and repeat. 2) Groin Stretch – do exactly the same steps as the hamstring
stretch but this time, rotate your trunk to the side of the standing leg (away
from the stretched leg) until you feel the stretch in the inner thigh or groin
muscles. 3) Backward Bends – place your fists behind your low back and slowly
bend backwards to a maximum tolerated point.

These “portable” exercises can be performed frequently throughout the work day,
whenever you can spare 30-60 seconds. The most important point is to do these
exercises on a regular basis. It may help keep your LBP from worsening during
your workday.

 We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for neck pain or headaches, we would be honored to render our services. Visit http://www.olsonchiropracticcenter.com for more information.