Saturday, September 26, 2009

Back Rehabilitation


Approximately 8 out of 10 people will experience the symptoms of back pain at least one time in their life. Bed rest used to be recommended immediately after a back injury, however this is no longer recommended. Now it is suggested that you resume your daily activities as soon as possible after an injury. A few weeks later, gentle stretching and strengthening of the back muscles is recommended.

A comprehensive back rehabilitation program should consist of both stretching as well as strengthening. The abdominal muscles should also be included as they play an important role in back rehabilitation by assisting in stabilization of the spine. The following exercises should be included to comprise a well rounded back rehabilitation program.

Stretches

Back Extension:
1) Lie on your stomach
2) Prop yourself up on your elbows extending your back
3) Start straightening your elbows, further extending your back
4) Continue straightening your elbows until a gentle stretch is felt
5) Hold for 15 seconds
6) Return to the starting position
7) Repeat 10 more times

Cat Stretch:
1) Get down on the floor on your hands and knees
2) Push your back up towards the ceiling (like a cat arching it's back)
3) Continue arching until you feel a gentle stretch in your back
4) Hold for 15 seconds
5) Return to the starting position
6) Repeat 10 more times

Hip Rolls:
1) Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor
2) Turn your head to the left as you relax and let your knees fall down to the floor on the right side by rotating your trunk
3) Hold for a count of five
4) Return to starting position
5) Turn your head to the right as you relax and let your knees fall down to the floor on the left side by rotating your trunk
6) Hold for a count of five
7) Repeat 10 more times

Strengthening:

Core Exercise:
1)Position yourself on all fours, with your hands and legs supporting you on the floor
2)Slowly extend your left leg straight behind you
3)Make sure that your back remains straight and parallel to the floor
4)Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds
5)Repeat using the opposite leg

Leg Raises:
1)Lie on your back
2)Bend your knees to 15 degrees
3)Contract your abdominal muscles to lift your feet off the floor in an arc like motion above your head
4)Slowly (in the same arc like motion) return your legs/feet to the floor
5)Repeat 10 more times

Sit Ups:
1)Lie on your back
2)Bend your knees to a comfortable position
3)Lock your fingers behind your head
4)Curl your head, shoulders, upper and lower back off the floor - no more than six inches
5)Hold this position for 5 seconds
6)Slowly return to starting position
7)Repeat 10 more times

As always, discuss starting any rehabilitation program with your physician. If any activity causes more pain, stop the exercise immediately. The exercises should be performed three times per day.

For further info, visit http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/backpain/a/backrehab.htm..tq

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