Active Rehabilitation for back pain

80% of adults report lower back pain at some point in their lives and 10-15% of all sports-related injuries involve the spine. Low back pain accounts for more lost person hours than any other type of occupational injury and is the most frequent cause of activity limitation in those under age 45. Bed rest was usually the advice given for any low back pain episodes. On a closer examination, in the long run it wasn’t so helpful.

 

 What is the Spine?

The spine is a complex structure comprising of 24 semi rigid vertebrae separated by discs that absorbs shock and facilitate movement, 5 fused vertebrae that make the sacrum which helps transfer upper body weight to the pelvis through the sacroiliac joint and the coccyx (tailbone) makes up the bottom of the vertebral column. Ligaments run along the spine and provide stability during movement, helping the spine protect nerves extending from brain to body. Several complex muscle groups that to attach to the spine play a critical role in spinal health. Some of these muscles are connected  to either the pelvis and/other thigh.

In short all these structures create a stable, powerful and strong spine that provides

structural support for our bodies, protection for our central nerves, and importantly facilitates dynamic movement of the entire body.

What can lead to spinal problems?

Usually, spinal problems are multi-factorial.

Predisposing factors include:

Poor mobility in surrounding muscles The pelvis is the foundation for the spine. Decreased mobility in the hips, hamstrings, ankles, and thoracic spine can lead to overcompensation at the lumbar spine and excessive pelvic tilt 

BadBio mechanics 

Most spine injuries that occur during training are muscle strains or ligament sprains, usually due to improper loading and technique. You can find a neutral spine by flexing your lumbar spine, then extending it and trying to find the midpoint between the two.

Poor posture

Poor posture means higher levels of shear stress on the spine. When posture is appropriate the spine can tolerate higher amounts of compressive force. Increased body fat, poor working environment design, prolonged postures and poor footwear can negatively influence posture.

Weakness

Most often the core’s role is stability rather than movement .Too much flexion or extension at the lumbar spine, usually caused by weak core muscles, can lead to injury.

Imbalances

We tend to be weak and imbalanced on extension movements because we do them less.The muscles that run along the back of the body from neck to ankles must be activated and exercised appropriately. This will develop stability and function through the entire core and lower limbs

Not moving

When we sit or lie around all day, intervertebral discs absorb fluid and become tighter, allowing less range of motion and promoting injury. 

Other common problems

A collection of spinal dysfunctions can result from spinal fracture, effects of aging, overtraining and trauma.

Treating low back pain effectively with Active Rehabilitation

All of the predisposing factors for low back pain can be managed effectively through active rehabilitation. At physiocare our clinical personal trainers can guide you safely in personal active rehabilitation sessions privately in our gym facility. We will address your specific needs and progressively pace the exercise to help you optimise your level of function. Our aim is to help you confidently move on from your back pain.

How does Active rehabilitation help Low back pain?

As we can  see most of the problems above are linked to either no movement or poor movement.The body is made to move, and inactivity can cause back pain. It is established that exercise therapy can greatly reduce the risk factors of low back pain.

  • Resistance training helps build strength and endurance in the supporting musculature, and help activate weaker or inhibited areas.
  • Mobility training helps improve active flexibility in tight areas.
  • The intervertebral discs lack blood vessels. The only way they can absorb nutrients is through spinal movement.

What happens in Active Rehabilitation?

Our training programmes are designed with six main phases that are paced specific to your needs that also address all the physical functions of the spine:

  1. Corrective exercises
  2. Build appropriate movement patterns
  3. Full body joint mobility/stability/ balance
  4. Increase core endurance (rather than maximal strength)
  5. Build full body strength.
  6. Develop speed, power, and agility as needed.

Summary and recommendations

Spinal health comes from a complex interplay of mobility in some areas and stability-strength-endurance in others. Hours and hours of sitting is bad news for your spine. Take time to get up, walk, bike, and stretch. Do what feels good and listen to your body.

Whenever you are unsure what is safe to do, contact us to book your session and

We can guide you privately in our gym facilities, and get you moving one step at a time.

Click to book an appointment with Anna O’Hare