There are three very simple core exercises that we teach to a lot of our patients when they have chronic or acute back pain.
It’s very important that you try to move and exercise as normally as possible when you have a pain or long-term issue in your back, as long as those movements and those exercises don’t cause an increase in your pain.
These simple exercises will activate some of the core muscles that tend to get weak after dealing with a back injury or back pain overtime.
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Video Transcription (please excuse grammatical errors and the conversational nature of the transcription):
“There are three very simple core exercises that I teach to a lot of my patients when they have chronic or acute back pain.
It’s also very important that you try to move and exercise as normally as possible when you have a pain or long-term issue in your back as long as those movements and those exercises don’t cause an increase in your pain.
These simple exercises will activate some of the core muscles that tend to get weak after dealing with a bit of a back injury or back pain overtime.
First, we activate a muscle called the transverse abdominis by drawing the belly button in towards the spine. So if you place the belly button on your spine correctly, you feel just inside the hip bones here, you’ll feel the muscle push a little bit into your finger.
If you don’t feel the muscle pushing, don’t worry and just think about drawing the belly button into the spine and firming up your abs just slightly with that in place. You’re going to lift one foot just where it’s unweighted and keep your hips as level as possible. The idea here is that you are simply drawing the belly button to the spine activating the core muscles and then balancing on one leg for about five seconds at a time.
As you lift the other way, you go back and forth from side to side to make sure that you’re keeping your hips level. Make sure that you’re not lifting a leg and dropping it back to the side and dropping the unweighted side down.
You want to activate the core, lift the foot and keep the hips nice and level. You’re going to go back and forth five seconds on each side for a minute or two at a time a few times a day.
The second one is a very simple bridge exercise. A lot of people start out bridges and simply push straight up and go into an arching and go back. That’s not what we are going to do.
First things first, again activate the core belly button towards the spine then you’re going to tilt the hips a little bit trying to flatten out the low back and then keeping that core activated and keeping the hips tilted back. You’re going to lift up until your torso and legs are in one line.
You don’t need to go past that because we’re trying to avoid arching the low back. So the belly button to spine, tilt the hips flat in the lower back, and lift up keeping the low back nice and flat. When you’re coming back, you would repeat that until you get a little bit of a fatigue.
In terms of numbers, you would want to reach out to your healthcare practitioner to confirm these things. This is just something to get started in terms of activating your core muscles and not getting into a habit of moving too carefully ending up with a lot more weakness that you need to be dealing with.
The last of these three exercises, You’re going to get off work and lot of people teach this bird dog exercise when you come way out with the arms. I don’t really like that because if you’re getting way back with the leg some of the large muscles at the back get more active and I prefer the little tiny core muscles all along the spine to be the ones that are doing most of the work.
So you want to have a nice flat back again belly button to spine, activate the core, and then you’re just going to slide one leg back until it’s just unweighted. That’s all you need to do and then come back in slide the other leg out until it’s just unweighted. When you come back in, you will notice as I do this I’m not dropping. My hips are moving my back that much with staying pretty still and my belly button is staying way back on the spine activating my core.
You can also add raising the opposite hand once you get to a point where you can do that without much problems and without losing your balance.
To wrap it up, do these three quick exercises to activate the core and try to avoid weakness from developing while you’re having back pain, because this is commonly associated with longer term chronic issues.”