Chronic low back pain is one of the leading causes for patients seeking physical therapy treatment in America. Low back pain is often diagnosed as either spinal stenosis or a disc herniation. Neither of these are a life sentence of pain. Both can be treated with a stretching and strengthening program to provide stability through the spine. Certain exercises can be used to help maintain and improve our strength of our back and legs along with maintaining a proper spine alignment with daily tasks.
The two main functional exercises that we do constantly throughout the day and are a great way to aid our lower back stability are the squat and lunges. We perform dozens and dozens of squats every day without thinking about it. We do this by sitting down for a meal, using the bathroom, getting in and out of the car, sitting at your work desk, and picking something up off the floor. Lunges are a more dynamic higher-level exercise that we use when getting a golf ball out of the hole, picking something up off the floor, washing the dishes and putting them away. Proper hip and spine mechanics are crucial while performing squats and lunges to maintain a healthy back. The key is using a proper hip hinge. This means bending at the hips and maintaining a neutral spine throughout the movement. For more on squats and lunging to maintain a healthy back, check out the following video.
If you’d like to learn more about maintaining a healthy back or would like to speak directly with one of our Physical Therapists, you can schedule your free discovery visit here.