If you are experiencing back pain that hasn’t let up for a few days or seems to be a recurring problem, it’s probably a good idea to start thinking about seeking treatment. This is a common ailment that numerous people deal with, and physical therapy has been a major source of relief for many. Back pain can be extremely debilitating, whether it comes on all of a sudden or is the result of an injury, and often leads to a decrease in the quality of life. In order to relieve discomfort in the back area, physical therapists tend to focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles and educating patients on proper posture so that mobility may be restored and future occurrences can be prevented. The following stretches and exercises are some of the top activities therapists utilize in their programs.
Prone Press Up
Lie on your stomach and use your hands and forearms to lift your upper body while keeping your back muscles relaxed. Push up as high as you can without feeling pain and hold for 10 seconds. Lower yourself gently back down and repeat 10 times.
Knee to Chest
Lie on your back with both knees in a bent position. For a single knee stretch, bring up only knee to the chest and hold for 15-30 seconds. For a double knee stretch, bring up both knees at the same time. Repeat three times.
Get on your hands and knees and sit back so your buttocks is against your heels while reaching your arms straight out in front of you as far as they can go. Hold for 30 seconds, release, and repeat three times.
Sciatic Nerve Stretch
Lie on your back with one knee bent and a hand positioned behind the other one. Straighten the leg being supported by your hand, and begin to flex the ankle back and forth. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
Exercise Ball Bridges
Lying on the floor, place an exercise ball underneath your legs making sure to keep them straight and your arms at your sides. Hold the spine in position while slowly tightening and lifting the buttocks off the floor a few inches. Hold for five seconds, release, and repeat 10 times.
Physical therapy can be a great alternative to surgery and medications for a variety of aches and pains, including those that affect the back. When done correctly with the supervision of the professionals at the Center for Athletic Performance & Physical Therapy, these exercises will help to manage back pain, improve strength and flexibility, and get you back into your normal routine as much as possible.