Exercises to Reduce Back Pain

Back pain can hit at any point in life, regardless of age. A traumatic injury from work, daily activities, or exercise can result in pain and the possible need for rehabilitation to heal. Muscle strains and ligament strains are common issues for people of all ages. Some people experience an overuse injury in the back, either from a repetitive movement or something as basic as bad posture. With aging, arthritis can cause lower back pain and stiffness, which may affect daily activity. Kinetic Sports Medicine specializes in the treatment of activity-related issues, which can include implementing a back rehab program to promote non-surgical healing.

Lower Back Anatomy

The spine is surrounded by soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support it. Large and small nerves also connect the spine with the rest of the body. Lower back pain may set in from a specific trauma such as a sudden twist or jolt. Someone may also develop this type of discomfort if they sit or slouch too much. Before prescribing physical therapy for back pain, a physician will perform a full examination to determine the cause of the pain. Different injuries can often manifest with similar pain, so diagnostic tests such as X-rays or an MRI may be needed to determine the cause of the symptoms.

Lower Back Rehabilitation Exercises

After an injury, when a patient complains of significant back pain, a physician often refers the patient to a physical therapist for back rehab exercises. These exercises are designed to gradually build strength and flexibility in specific muscles in the neck, back, abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. Conditioning and strengthening these muscles helps make the back stronger and more stable, which can relieve pain and help prevent future injuries.

For patients struggling with lower back pains, stretches will be the first rehabilitative task. Stretching helps restore flexibility in taut muscles, which enhances the range of motion and often helps reduce pain. Longer and more flexible back muscles usually help reduce common lower back pains. Stretches should be performed gently and never to the point of pain. Head rolls, kneeling back extensions, and knee-to-chest stretches can be an ideal way to begin rehabilitative physical therapy for the back.

Once a patient can perform the stretches effectively, it's time to move on to strengthening exercises for lower back pain. A physical therapist may suggest these or other exercises for lower back pain.

Therapies for Pain Relief

Dr. Richard Kim is a primary care sports medicine physician who focuses his practice on providing non-surgical care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more about our services.