A combination of the two provides numerous benefits. Exercise keeps muscles in their proper tone, increases blood circulation around the body, improves digestion and develops a better lifestyle all together.
The following back-strengthening exercises can complement the healing process:
Back Strengthening Exercise: Hip Bridge
The Hip Bridge exercise strengthens those muscles near the lower back that play an important role in stabilizing the spine.
It can be carried out by lying on the back with the feet flat and about hip width apart; the knees should be bent. The arms should be relaxed. The person then squeezes their buttocks as they lift their hips in a straight line towards the shoulders. After around 3 seconds, return to the starting position, slowly.
Around 12 repetitions are recommended.
Back Strengthening Exercise: Bird Dog
The bird dog exercise aims at strengthening the lower back, hip, butt and thigh muscles.
The person kneels on the floor with both hands spaced out about a shoulder-width apart. Tuck in the belly towards the spine and raise one leg straight backwards while raising the other hand in opposite direction.
Hold in this position for 15 seconds and then return to starting point, carrying out the same procedure on the opposite side hand and leg.
Back Strengthening Exercise: Side Plank
The side plank exercise strengthens the lower back. It is done by the following method:
The person is to lie on their right side, straight from head to the feet while resting on their forearms. The elbow should be directly under their shoulder. The abdominals are to be gently contracted and the hips slowly lifted off the floor – in the same straight position.
This position should be held for at least about 30 seconds before lowering the hip.
Back Strengthening Exercise: Lunge
Lunge exercises enhance a person’s overall control of their body. This tends to protect the spine in daily activities, such as walking and running or even stair-climbing.
Starting off with the abs gently contracted. The hands are placed on the hips; the person then takes a big step-forward using the right foot while sinking the right knee at a right-angle.
The person should then slowly return to the starting position, switch the legs and repeat – 10 repetitions are recommended.
Back Strengthening Exercise Prescription
At the office we use three different systems to determine the exercise prescription; the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Functional Movement Systems, and the Laser Spine Institute assessment. We also use the MedX Lumbar and Cervical extension testing machines to help determine the goals for your normal strength.
Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Side Plank.jpg