Back pain is a condition that many people are plagued with. Regardless of whether it is chronic or part of a flare up, there are several exercises and techniques that can be learned that will help alleviate some of the pain.
What Causes Back Pain?
There are many answers to this one question. Some people get so busy in their day-to-day life that they forget the basics of stretches and how important it is to warm the body up every day. Other people may suffer from auto-immune diseases that cause muscular pain. Back pain can basically be brought on by surgeries, illnesses, underlying health conditions, poor self-care or even moving incorrectly. Some people may be in perfect health but lift something the wrong way. That lift can cause a strain that can become a bigger problem if not treated properly. In addition to living with back pain, many people who suffer also experience inadequate sleep and poor diet due to the pain taking precedence over other bodily systems.
Help For Back Pain
There is help for back pain. Those suffering should reach out to their physical therapists for help in alleviating and conquering their pain. Becoming educated in the proper stretching and therapy exercises will give you the know how to continue working on your pain management, even while you are at home. During physical therapy you will learn about Balance training, Gait training, Proprioceptive exercises and Therapeutic exercises. These are 4 strategies that will help you to relieve some of your back pain.
Balance training is important for everyone. The act of balancing is used when you walk, run or exercise. When your balance is not centered you are more prone to falls and injuries. In balance training you will learn various exercises that will help you to strengthen the core muscles that keep you up right. Balance training is a practice that everyone should participate in daily. Some simple balance training exercises include standing on one foot for 20 seconds and then switching off to the other. You will stand with your weight on one leg and then raise the other leg to the side or behind you. This will help center your body and improve your stability.
You can also put the heal of one foot in front of the toe on the other. Simulate a tight rope walk. This will also help you build leg muscles. Other balance training exercises include standing up and sitting down in a chair without the use of your hands, walking while performing alternating knee lifts, utilizing balance balls and learning yoga. Balance training utilizes slow and methodical movements that incorporate the use of your leg, glute and back muscles. You will not gain flexibility in balance training but you will improve your stability while strengthening your muscles.
In some situations, people may lose the ability to walk well or completely. Gait training is used to help individuals regain their ability to stand and/or walk better. Doctors will typically recommend Gait training to those with spinal cord injuries, broken legs, broken pelvis, joint injuries or replacements, muscular dystrophy or musculoskeletal disorders as well as individuals with lower limb amputations and those who have neurological disorders or who may have suffered from a stroke.
Gait training involves exercises that will help you regain your ability to walk. Typically, individuals going through gait training will begin by walking on a treadmill and participating in muscle strengthening activities. Sometimes you may need to wear a harness while using the treadmill or stepping over objects and sitting down and standing up. Gait training is not just physically challenging, it is also mentally challenging. It is important to keep open communication with your physical therapist and your doctor while you are participating in gait training.
Before you can participate in proprioceptive exercises, you must know what proprioception is. Basically, this is the sense of knowing where your body parts are in the space around you. When you have an injury that impairs your joints you can lose your sense of proprioception. One of the most common symptoms is poor balance and your spinal posture can be impacted by the loss or impairment of proprioception. Balance exercises will help you to regain or enhance control of your proprioception and will improve spatial awareness, improve balance and will increase a sense of joint position.
One great exercise to practice is to stand on a pliable surface like a BOSU ball. A BOSU ball is an inflated rubber hemisphere that is attached to a stabilized platform. Balancing on one leg while bending the opposite legs knee so that it remains touching the floor while standing on a BOSU ball will help increase your core and balance. You will hold this post for one minute and then switch to the other leg. This will gradually awaken a sense of proprioceptive space as well. As you build your core and regain your spatial awareness you will notice better posture and less back pain.
Therapeutic exercises are exactly as they sound. They are prescribed exercises that will be worked on via therapy to correct movement impairments and restore the muscular and skeletal function that may need correction. These exercises focus on restoring physical function, maintaining strength, increasing endurance and enhancing flexibility, stability and balance. By incorporating strengthening, endurance, flexibility and balance exercises a physical therapist will help their patient reduce both pain and inflammation. Treatment is decided upon after a thorough examination but it definitely varies greatly.
Some therapeutic exercises include agility training, breathing exercises, movement pattern training, soft tissue stretching. Strengthening exercises are performed with heavy resistance that has fewer repetitions. Endurance exercises engage the large muscles and the duration of the exercises is increased gradually over time. Flexibility exercises achieve pain reduction through stretching and movement. Yoga is a great example of a flexibility exercise. Balance exercises utilize all of the previously mentioned core strengthening techniques that are used for proprioceptive exercises and gait training.
Carlson ProCare Is Here to Help
Back pain can be treated and Carlson ProCare is here to help. Our physical therapists will work with you and your doctors’ recommendations when it comes to achieving a pain management routine. We will encourage you through each step of your recovery while teaching you valuable exercises to help reduce and/or alleviate the back pain that has been plaguing you. Contact us to today and get back to living the pain free life you deserve.
Carol-Anne earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from New York Medical College. She has more than 20 years of experience teaching ballet, dance, yoga, Pilates, and strength and conditioning. She is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher. Carol-Anne has extensive training and experience in spinal biomechanics. She has certifications in pelvic floor physical therapy through the Herman and Wallace Institute, and training in physical therapy for pelvic pain, pregnancy, prenatal, and postpartum pain. She is certified in Dry Needling through the Connecticut Acupuncture Certificate Program. She also has training in Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) including muscle energy techniques and myofascial release, instrument assisted soft tissue massage (IASTM), dance medicine, breathing pattern disorders, kinesiotaping, and cupping therapy.