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Hello from Dr Chris

Hi there, and welcome to my Body in Balance section here on the HBB website. My guess is that you are here reading this section because you are, or have in the past been suffering from some pain?

Perhaps back pain and sciatica? Maybe a sports injury? Or maybe you’re struggling with headaches, arthritis, or neck pain?

Maybe you’re just not feeling right, you’re stiff, tired or just generally under the weather

Whatever the reasons I am guessing you are here looking for some helpful advice.

Over the coming weeks I am going to be talking through a number of common ailments and giving some basic information and a few exercises that can start the process of alleviating some of your pain

DEALING WITH LOWER BACK PAIN

Over the course of our lives almost all of us at some time or other will suffer some form of lower back pain. In the video below I talk a bit
about why this happens and further down you can find 5 great exercises that can help alleviate the pain

5 great home exercises to help with lower back pain

Hip-raises

1. Bridges

The Gluteus Maximus is the large muscle of the buttocks. It’s one of the strongest muscles in the body. It’s responsible for movement at the hip, including hip extension activities like squats.

Weakness in the gluteus muscles can contribute to back pain. This is because they’re important stabilisers of the hip joints and lower back during movements like walking.

Muscles worked: Gluteus Maximus

  • Lie on the ground with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • With your hands by your sides, press your feet into the floor as you slowly lift your buttocks off the ground until your body is in one straight line. Keep your shoulders on the floor.
  • Lower down. Rest for 1 minute.
  • Repeat 15 times.
  • Perform 3 sets.
Picture2

2. Drawing-in manoeuvre

The Transverse Abdominis is the muscle that wraps around the midline. It helps support the spine and abdomen.

It’s important for stabilising the spinal joints and preventing injury during movement.

Muscles worked: Transverse Abdominis

  • Lie on the ground with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Relax your hands by your sides.
  • Take a deep inhale. Breathe out and pull your belly button in toward your spine, engaging your abdominal muscles without tilting your hips.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 5 times.
Leg-raises

3. Lying lateral leg raises

The hip abductor muscles help to raise your leg to the side, away from your body. They also help support your pelvis when you’re standing on one leg.

When these muscles are weak, it can affect balance and mobility. It can also cause low back pain due to instability.

Muscles worked: Gluteus Medius

  • Lie on one side, keeping your lower leg slightly bent on the ground.
  • Engage your core by drawing your belly button in toward your spine.
  • Raise your top leg without moving the rest of your body.
  • Hold for 2 seconds at the top. Repeat 10 times.
  • Repeat on other side. Perform 3 sets on each side.
Leg-and-Arm-raises-2

4. Bird Dog – Alternating Arms and Legs

Have you ever watched a bird dog on point? When they find a bird they instantly stabilise their body and stand still. From that stabilisation and active stillness, they slowly move their legs forward, one at a time. At one point in that forward progression, their front leg and opposite back leg are suspended in space.

Muscles worked: Gluteus Maximus, Erector Spinae, Lumbar Multifidus

  • Begin on your hands and knees. Hands under shoulder, knees under hips
  • Engage your core and lift one leg to hip height (you do not need to lift the hip any higher. That will cause compression!)
  • Now lift your opposite arm to shoulder height
  • Alternate side to side 5-8x
Picture5

5. Partial curls

The abdominal muscles play a significant role in supporting the spine. Strong abdominal muscles can help maintain proper hip alignment. This can contribute to overall core strength and stability.

Muscles worked: Rectus Abdominus, Transverse Abdominis

  • Lie on the ground with your feet flat on the floor, keeping your knees bent.
  • Cross your hands over your chest.
  • Take a deep breath. While you exhale, brace your abdominals by pulling your belly button in toward your spine.
  • Slowly lift your shoulders off the ground a few inches. Try to keep your neck in line with your spine instead of rounding, to avoid pulling up with your neck.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times. Perform 3 sets.