Best Exercises for Low Back Pain

Houston Chiropractor Comments: A common question that I get from patients is “What are the best exercises to prevent low back pain?” The problem is most people want to start performing the exercises before their back is ready for them to begin.

Typically, you do not want to start exercises, besides light walking or swimming, before the pain and muscle tightness begins to go away. A common statement in rehabilitation is that movement is medicine. Slow walking, even just up and down a hallway or around a room, or swimming is very beneficial. This allows the small muscles of the spine to move which helps to minimize any swelling and reduce soreness.

The next step to reducing your back pain is to begin stretching it. The best low back stretches can be found on our website @ Videos – Beecher Chiropractic : Houston, TX Chiropractor .

After you begin to regain or improve your flexibility, you can now begin to strengthen your low back with exercises. The best exercises are bridges, pelvic tilts, leg raises, Supermans, and planks.

Bridge

  • Performed by lying on the ground and bend the knees, placing the feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.
  • Press the feet into the floor, keeping the arms by the sides.
  • Raise the buttocks off the ground until the body forms a straight line from the shoulders to the knees.
  • Squeeze the buttocks with the shoulders remaining on the floor.
  • Lower the buttocks to the ground and rest for a few seconds.
  • Repeat 15 times and then rest for 1 minute.
  • Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

Pelvic Tilt

  • Lie back on the floor with knees bent and feet flat, keeping the arms by the sides.
  • Gently arch the lower back and push the stomach out.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then relax.
  • Flatten the back and pull the bellybutton in toward the floor.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then relax.
  • Increase the number of repetitions daily, building up to 30

Leg Raises

  • Lie on your back with the legs together.
  • Keep the legs straight.
  • Draw the bellybutton into the spine to engage the core muscles.
  • Raise the legs about 18 inches, keeping it straight and extended.
  • Hold the position for 2 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Perform 3 sets.

Supermans

  • Lie face down on the ground and stretch both arms out in front of the body, keeping the legs stretched out and flat on the ground.
  • Raise both the hands and feet, aiming to create a gap of about 6 inches between them and the floor.
  • Try to pull in the bellybutton, lifting it off the floor to engage the core muscles.
  • Keep the head straight and look at the floor to avoid neck injury.
  • Stretch the hands and feet outward as far as possible.
  • Hold the position for 2 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Plank

  • Lie face down on the ground and either place your hands or elbows on the ground in a push-up position.
  • Press your body up just like you were doing a push-up
  • Try to pull in the bellybutton and tighten the buttocks to engage the core muscles.
  • Keep the head straight and look at the floor to avoid neck injury.
  • Hold the position for as long as you can. Your ultimate goal is 2 minutes.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 3 times.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston,     TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Bed Rest for Low Back Pain?

Houston Chiropractor Comments: I recently had a new patient come in that had been suffering with severe low back pain for a couple weeks. They had gone to their family doctor for treatment and had been told to take muscle relaxants, pain pills and to stay in bed for a couple days with bed rest. 

Bed Rest & Back Pain

I instantly knew why this patient was still in pain.

Despite their medical doctor’s best intentions, his advice was severely outdated. Even when I was in chiropractic school in the mid 1980’s, this advice was being proven wrong. Some of the older doctor’s back then would advise patients to take 1 or 2 weeks off work with absolute bed rest when they had a severe low back complaint.

During the 1980’s studies showed that the key to a quick recovery was early movement. Patients were advised to begin moving as soon as possible and treatment incorporated stretching and exercise ASAP.

Treatment for different spine complaints change over time. It is always best to be treated by a doctor who examines and treats patients on a daily basis. At Beecher Chiropractic Clinic we treat hundreds neck and back pain patients every year and know what treatments get the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!     

Ice or Heat?

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: A common question that I get is “When do I use ice and when do I use heat?” Most people have been told to use ice for the first 24, 48, or 72 hours and then to switch to heat from their coach or parent. This works for simple sports injuries, but isn’t always the best for every situation. 

First, you need to know WHY you are using the ice or heat to begin with. 

Ice or Heat?

Ice is good for when there is swelling or inflammation from an injury or aggravation. The vasoconstriction from the ice will help reduce the fluid in an area and help to prevent swelling of the affected area. Don’t use ice for more than 20 minutes as it can injure areas with poor circulation and cause tissue damage.

Heat brings more blood to an area which helps to relax the muscles, reduce joint stiffness, and ease muscle spasms. This is good for sore and achy muscles. Don’t use heat on an open wound or cut as it can cause more bleeding.

An easy way to remember which one to use is “If you can point to a specific area and it is painful, then use ice. If you can’t find a specific area that is painful, but an area is sore and achy, use heat.”

If you are in doubt, use ice. 😉

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Things That You Can Do To Prevent Your Pain From Returning

Houston Chiropractor Comments: After you take the time and energy to correct your spinal problems and get out of pain, you want to keep it that way. Patients want a way to stay active without continued discomfort. Just like when you go to the dentist and get a cavity fixed, they remind you to brush and floss to help prevent future cavities. For your spine it is stretching and exercise.

Stretching

When patients ask what is the number one thing that they could do to prevent hurting their spine or joints in the future, I say stretching. Just like the old adage that if you don’t use it you lose it. We need to continually take our joints thru their full range of motion. The older that we get the less we typically move. We spend most of our time seated, either in our car, at our desk or on our couch with our neck forward. This leads to joint restrictions and possible adhesions. Instead, be more child-like with your motion and move in different directions than normal. You should do some specific stretching every day. A common neck stretch takes 1 minute to go thru all of the different motions, low back stretches take approximately 3 minutes, wrist/forearm stretches for computer takes 1 minute. These stretches and more are located on our website www.beecherchiropractic.com /videos/ or on YouTube at Beecher Chiropractic. Yoga can also be very beneficial as well as Pilates. 

You must also do some activity to strengthen your core support muscles. For your back, the best exercise is planks. It doesn’t matter what type of plank you do; they all have different areas that they address. If you cannot do a full plank, you can do it on your knees or even leaning on counter or wall. The neck will benefit from any type of isometric exercise. You can either press your head in to the palm of your hand in each direction or you can fold up a towel, place it against the wall and lean your head in to it. The more active you are, the more that you will use different muscles.

Just remember to stretch and exercise every day in some way. Your spine and joints will appreciate it.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below! 

Best Exercise to Prevent Back Pain

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: One thing that I have learned from being a chiropractor for almost 30 years is that if the stretches and exercises that you give people take more than a few minutes, they will not do them. I have covered the stretches in previous blogs as well as in my YouTube videos, but I haven’t discussed the best exercise to prevent back pain. Doing the stretches and exercise will greatly reduce the likelihood of you having your back pain return.

Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

The best exercise is the plank. The easiest form of the plank is to get in a push-up position, but rest on your forearms instead of your palms. Ultimately you want to be able to hold this position for 1 minute. If you can not do 1 minute yet, hold it for 10 seconds and the rest for 5-10 seconds. Then hold it for another 10 seconds and keep repeating until you reach 1 minute. This is an exercise where proper form matters more than the length of time. If you have poor form and allow your back to sag it can actually aggravate your back pain. If you get bored with doing the simple plank there are a variety of modifications that you can do to challenge you.

The key thing is to just do it. Don’t do the plank periodically. Everyday you should stretch, plank and brush your teeth. 😊
Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!