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Physical Therapist Riverside Offers Cures for Low Back Pain

The following article was written by Dr. Steven S. Nieto, Doctorate of Physical Therapy in Riverside. Dr. Nieto is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and an Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS). Only 3% of Physical Therapists in the United States have their OCS. He is an expert in dealing with Low Back Pain and has treated more than 2,500 patients in Riverside who suffer from Low Back Pain. He has worked for Marketplace Physical Therapy for 9 years.

Without a doubt the most common injury I see at my practice is Low Back Pain. This isn’t surprising because 85% of Americans will suffer from some degree of Lower Back Pain in their lifetime. It can be an extremely painful injury and greatly effects my patients way of life. I have found that there are four factors that have led to the increased incidence of Low Back Pain.

1. Sedentary Lifestyle

How many occupations now require us to sit a majority of our day? The number of hours people sit watching TV is higher than it has ever been. A.C. Nielsen Co. reports that the average American watches over 4 hours of T.V. per day. That’s more than a part-time job.

2. Weak Abdominals and Surrounding Core Muscles.

Most people worry about the amount of fat they have laying over their abdominal muscles. However, strong abdominals take the pressure off the low back.

3. Hamstring Inflexibility

How many of us can touch the floor from a standing position without bending our knees. If you can I bet you don’t have lower back pain unless you experience an acute injury. Tight hamstring muscles (back of your legs) can pull your hips out of position and strain your lower back muscles for long periods of time.

4. Improper Ergonomics

Even in my own office I see employees consistantly slouching over and putting their back in horrible positions. Prolonged exposure to these positions can have a scoliosis-like effect on the low back. Getting back to a normal back position after years of abuse is achievable, but often a painful process.

Exercise

The body was ment to move, not sit idle. Remember that old saying “when I rest I rust” Well there is a lot of truth to that saying. The human body is tremendously resilient, but it’s not going to perform at a high level without some everyday maintenance. I’m talking about minutes a day, not hours. I often tell my patients that they need to make time for exercise. You can’t expect time to suddenly appear in our busy schedules offering nothing for us to do but exercise.You need to establish a routine. Once you make exercise a part of your daily routine you will actually miss not doing your exercises. It will become a healthy habit. Imagine that!

Here are some exercises that can tremendously help the strength and flexibility of the muscles surrounding the back.

Bridge

Start lying flat on the floor with knees up and your heels on the ground. Arms should be lying next to you for support.

Push butt up so that the legs, butt and back are in complete allignment. Have someone check your form to ensure you are completely straight. Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions each.

Pilates Abs

Start in a crunched position with your legs at a 90 degree angle with your arms completely straight and 6 inches off the ground.

While staying in a crunched position, rhythmically raise your arms up and down 6 inches for 30 seconds. Complete two sets. Make sure you stay in a crunched position the whole time.

Core Strengthening

Start by getting on the ground on all fours, with your knees and hands.

At the same time raise your left arm and right leg. If this exercise is too difficult it can be done lying completely on your stomach.

Next, raise your right arm and left leg at the same time. Work your way up to three sets of 10 reps on each side.

Prone Press Ups

Start lying face down on the floor with your hands flat on the ground next to your chest.

Push your body up while trying to keep your hips on the floor. Work on getting your arms completely straight. It might be difficult to keep your hips on the ground initially. Complete 3 sets at 10 reps each.

Lying Knee Extension

Start lying down with your back flat on the floor.

Pull your knee to your chest while keeping the other leg on the ground and completely straight. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and complete two times.

Chair Hamstring Stretch

Place your heal on a chair while standing completely straigt. You can use a table to balance with your hand if there is any fear of falling.

Keep your back straight through the entire movement as if your spine is a ruler. Pull your chest forward toward your knee. Feel a good stretch in your hamstring and hold for 30 seconds. Complete this stretch twice.

These exercises can easily be performed in 10 minutes daily and are recommended for a healthy individual who’s not currently experiencing a bout of acute Low Back Pain. If you are currently experiencing acute pain please see your physician or Physical Therapist.
So give these exercises a try. Make them a part of your day, everyday.

Start lying face down on the floor with your hands flat on the ground next to your chest.

Push your body up while trying to keep your hips on the floor. Work on getting your arms completely straight. It might be difficult to keep your hips on the ground initially. Complete 3 sets at 10 reps each.

Lying Knee Extension

Start lying down with your back flat on the floor.

Pull your knee to your chest while keeping the other leg on the ground and completely straight. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and complete two times.

Chair Hamstring Stretch

Place your heal on a chair while standing completely straigt. You can use a table to balance with your hand if there is any fear of falling.

Keep your back straight through the entire movement as if your spine is a ruler. Pull your chest forward toward your knee. Feel a good stretch in your hamstring and hold for 30 seconds. Complete this stretch twice.

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Published on: July 27th, 2011

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