No advice on this website is a substitute for seeing a doctor or health care professional. All exercises should be performed under the direct advice of a health care professional.
Directions For Exercises
Do exercise prescribed for you.
Hold positions for 30 to 60 seconds.
Achieve the stretch position gently, no bouncing or jerking!
The stretch position should have a tight feeling, never pain!
Do all exercises to both sides of body.
Stretch before and after your sport activity. If you only have time for one stretch, before is the most important.
A well placed volleyball can sometimes help a lower spine-ache by helping align the joints and maintain a lordosis, as shown in the picture above.
Dr. Dallas checks a patient in his Lansing Chiropractic office for lower back strength.
For the first three exercises, lie on your back on a solid surface.
1. Tilt hips toward head, pressing low back firmly to floor and tightening abdominals. Hold 2-3 seconds. Do 3 sets of 5. This is a great exercise for the ache you feel in the low back area.
Your spine should end up flat on the floor like the picture above.
2. Keeping low back flat, bring each knee to chest for 30 seconds. Alternate legs. Repeat 8 times. This is the best stretch for your sacroiliac joint, which causes pain in your low back to the right or left of the belt line.
3. Keeping low back flat, bring knees to chest for one minute. Repeat 4 times. This is the best stretch for pain in the low back, tail bone area.
4. Back Strengthening Exercise
Tuck leg to chest, then drive leg back and up until it is straight and perpendicular with the body. Hold opposite arm as straight as possible. Hold this position for a count of 8 or as long as you can. Keep your balance. This should be done when your back is feeling a lot better and you can touch your toes and bend backwards with no pain. This is my favorite for strengthening the back muscles, but you have to be ready for it. You can also do this on an exercise ball.
5. Hamstring Stretch
Hold for a count of 20, 4 times a day.
7. Side stretch
Hold for a count of 20, 4 times a day.
8. Shoulder Stretch
Grab down as low as you can in the towel, lean your neck away and forward and feel the stretch. Hold for a count of 20, 4 times a day. This is especially good after letting a hot shower run on your tight shoulders as long as possible. This is the best stretch for a knot at the top of the shoulders.
Pull elbow across chest, as shown. When stretch is felt, hold for a count of 20. This should be done 4 times a day. This is a great stretch for golfers and people who have tightness around the shoulders, especially in the back of the shoulders.
9. Shoulder Exercise
A. Start by having thumbs pointed at each other and exercise band at 45 degerees with the floor. Problem shoulder is the higher hand. Do not move lower arm or either elbow. Pull upper arm away, keeping thumbs pointed at each other until you end up like picture above.
B. Repeat 4 timers per week for 3 sets of 6-10. These are my two favorite exercises for shoulder problems. They should only be done when you can lift your arm over your head pain free.
10. Rotator Cuff Exercises External rotation of the shoulders.
A. Start with arm next to body and forearm parallel to the floor. (Important - keep forearm parallel to floor throughout movement.)
B. Pull forearm away from the body to the greatest extent possible in a smooth, fluid manner. Repeat 4 times per week for 3 sets of 6-10
11. Heel Spurs
Stretch 1. Keep back foot against floor. Try and touch front knee to wall. You are stretching back foot in this stretch.
Stretch 2. Try and put the ball of your foot on the wall and touch your knee to the wall. Do each of these stretches 5 times and hold for as long as you can up to a count of 20. Repeat every day for 6 weeks. This is how I rid myself of heel spur pain.
An Interesting Observation
Many patients come in the office with past histories of two or three major episodes of back (and or leg pain) over the last few years. The interesting thing is that many assume that their recent episode will be their last. However, Einstein said you cannot do the same thing and expect different results. This means if you work the same job sitting at a desk forty hours per week or repetitively bend your spine as a brick layer, why would you assume the pain will not return unless you change something in your life? That positive change usually means less hours worked, exercise, or more treatment. After a major episode of back pain, patients will wait until they have more of the same pain until they return to the clinic. Should one wait for chest pressure and left arm numbness to have their heart check and modify life style changes? Should one wait until they have tooth pain to go to the dentist? When you wait for pain to appear, when it comes to your health, it is usually too late. You must stay on top of it. Many patients say I wanted to wait because I was worried to have anyone touch my back because I knew it was getting bad so I just took pain pills. This thinking allows the problem to get worse without feeling it.
The primary principal of spinal rehab is to first get range of motion. If you can hardly get out of a chair or brush your teeth because your back hurts you most likely have reduced range of motion in your lower spine. That is when it is important to do manipulation and or flexion distraction to rehab the spine and get your range of motion back. When you get your range of motion back, then it is time to start strengthening. Waiting for treatment with the idea that the pain will go away, and worry that treatment will make it worse, causes procrastination, which is the Thief of Health. A positive mental outlook, a willingness to get up and do something about it, and taking an active approach in your recovery is the key. Your health must be earned every day of your life. Health cannot be purchased in a bottle. It is only your own actions that allow you to possess good health.