Back pain: where to start
Back pain is a very general term, and there are many different diseases (including internal organs such as the kidneys or heart) of which back pain is one of the symptoms. Therefore, when you first have such complaints, it is necessary to see a doctor so that you are examined and a correct diagnosis is made. Most often this is a neurologist, traumatologist, or, if the pain is associated with sports, it can be a sports doctor.
When a specialist looked at you, carried out the necessary examinations and ruled out the possibility of such formidable diseases as coronary heart disease, urolithiasis or others, then we can talk about prescribing medication and therapeutic exercises.
The most common type of back pain
One of the most common back pains is myofascial pains, they arise due to the fact that the lifestyle of a modern person has changed a lot, we move very little and spend a lot of time in forced postures (working at a computer, driving a car), most of us are overweight, our muscles are weakened and cannot perform the necessary function of supporting the spine.
Treatment in the acute period
Medicines, namely non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are prescribed at the beginning of the disease, when the pain syndrome is very pronounced and it is necessary to reduce the suffering of the patient. In parallel, you can use kinesio taping, which reduces the need for medication.
In the acute period, exercise therapy exercises are usually aimed at stretching the muscles and fascia. If the load on the muscles is given, then these are isometric exercises, and they should not hurt.
After acute pain relief
When acute pain is relieved, there are many methods of treatment to consolidate the result and finally relieve pain – these are physiotherapy, massage, manual therapy, acupuncture and others. But none of them strengthens our muscles and, therefore, is not preventive, that is, not allowing the disease to develop again. Only properly selected therapeutic exercises, posture control, work and rest regimen will prevent the development of new exacerbations. This requires regular exercise and a gradual increase in load to the required level.
Why exercises “from the Internet” can be dangerous
Complexes of basic exercises, of course, exist, but they always include exercises according to the principle: “do no harm”, because its creator never knows who decides to perform it, where the patient will see this complex: whether the doctor will advise him, or he will download information from the Internet. And as we know, each person is individual in his own way, each has its own peculiarities of the structure of the spine, the nuances of work and life.
In addition, problems in the spine are most often associated with either excessive mobility or its limitation, and, consequently, different exercises will be needed. Therefore, only a specialist after conducting the necessary tests and examinations and making the correct diagnosis will be able to give you comprehensive recommendations on the selection of the exercises you need.
The correctness of the exercises is of great importance, so as not to aggravate the problem, and I always advise you to come two or three more times for a second consultation to check the correctness of the exercises and adjust the set of recommended exercises so that the patient develops motor control and develops the correct movement pattern .
Recommendations for self-study
Of course, if it is not possible to contact a specialist, you can try to perform one or another set of exercises, but you need to remember that all exercises must be performed smoothly, without jerking, and they should not bring pain. If pain occurs during the exercise, then you need to stop doing it and not endure the pain.
The need for examination (including X-ray of the spine) before therapeutic exercises is determined by your doctor. If you do not have a disease and pain, and you want to do gymnastics as a preventive measure, then a special examination is not required, but it is better if you are shown and monitored for the correct execution of the exercise, for example, by an instructor in a fitness club.
And the main rule – at the beginning of self-study, try to avoid excessive load, sudden movements, weight training and jumping.
There are basic exercises that help strengthen the main muscle groups, but we must remember that they should be started gradually, gradually increasing the load, and also that for each age the exercises will differ in the direction of easing the load.
It is important to monitor the pulse so that when performed it does not exceed 60-70% of the MHR (maximum heart rate = 220 – age).
Aerobic exercise is especially useful (ellipse, Swedish walking, walking on a treadmill, jogging, exercise bike, swimming), it should be performed 2-3 times a week, in the pulse zone 60-70% of MHR, 5 minutes – warm-up, 25- 40 minutes – work in the pulse zone, 5 minutes – a hitch.
Aerobic exercise improves the functioning of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, increases tissue capillarization, and has a positive effect on the endocrine system.
Depending on age and existing diseases, I would classify as basic exercises those that strengthen the muscles of the back and abs, gluteal muscles, and paravertebral muscles in people over 50 years old. For younger ones, it can be more energy-intensive: burpees, pull-ups, push-ups, plank in all its varieties.
An increase in muscle tissue increases overall metabolism, has a positive effect on well-being and overall activity.
Basic set of exercises to strengthen the back muscles
1. “Kitty-dog”. Standing on all fours (arms are straight, hands under the shoulders shoulder width apart, knees under the hip joints at the width of the pelvis, the back is straight, the head is straight, we look down), arch the back up, press the chin to the chest, hold the position with a maximum extension of 5-7 seconds , then slowly return to the starting position. We perform 5-7 times.
2. “Diagonals”. Standing on all fours, alternately raise the opposite arm and leg to the level of the body, keep the back straight, do not fall on the supporting leg, hold at the top point for 5-10 seconds, do 5-10 repetitions.
3. Lying on your side, the head lies on the arm bent at the elbow, raise the straight leg up 10-15 times, then take the straight leg forward and again 10-15 times up, then take the leg back and again 10-15 times up, 2 sets on each side. We perform smoothly, with a delay at the top point.
4. “Rear axle”. Lying on your back, bend your knees at an angle of 90-120 degrees and, relying on your heels and shoulders, slowly raise your pelvis up and hold the position for 10 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, 10 repetitions.
5. Side Plank. Lying on your side, legs bent at the knees at 90 degrees, hips and torso create a straight line, relying on the forearm and knee, raise the pelvis and hold for 10 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, 5 repetitions on each side.
6. “Mahi bent leg up”. Standing on all fours, raise the leg, bent at the knee 90 degrees up so that at the top point of the stop is parallel to the ceiling, 10-15 times 2-3 series. We perform smoothly, with a delay at the top point.
Photo: Vostock Photo
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