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Segmental Stabilizing Exercises and Low Back Pain

Those who suffer from back pain are likely on the lookout for inexpensive—or even free—solutions to their back problems. One free way for back pain sufferers to relieve their pain in the privacy of their own home is to try out segmental stabilizing exercises and low back pain therapy. Because the lower back is designed for mobility, it is vulnerable to injury, strain, and general overexertion. Another factor that can cause lower back pain is the aging process; many degenerative disorders affect the spine as bone density and muscle mass decrease. These segmental stabilizing exercises can keep back problems at bay and prevent the need for more invasive procedures such as medications, cortisol injections, and surgery.

Segmental stabilizing exercises strengthen the muscles that support the spine so that future injury is less likely to occur. One popular segmental stabilizing exercise and low back pain regimen is divided into three stages. As the patient builds up strength, the intensity increases, and the goal at the end of the third stage is for the patient to be able to exercise as desired without any lower back pain.

The key to this exercise is to listen to the body and refrain from overexertion. It starts in a neutral pelvis position, in which the person is lying with the feet flat on the floor with the knees bent. Tilting the pelvis forward and backward until the most comfortable position is found is known as the neutral pelvis position. Leg sliding is the next step: the abdominal muscles remain tight, and the leg slides forward. The legs alternate between reps. Five repetitions per leg is an acceptable number, although a physical therapist can make more specific recommendations.

The object of the second stage is to build up difficulty and repetitions; this stage can require up to 50 reps per workout. The ball-seated marching position is a recommended exercise. The patient sits on the ball with the feet flat on the floor and the knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Each leg is lifted so that the feet come up a few inches off the ground, the position is held for 2 seconds, and the exercise is repeated with the next leg. Legs are alternated for 50-60 reps as is comfortable for the patient.

The third and final stage is the gradual return to more vigorous exercises such as sports and running. The main exercise to try in this stage is the back extension, which is usually done on a machine; however, it can also be done on the floor or on an exercise ball. When done on the floor, this exercise resembles a sit-up, but instead of facing up, the patient lies face down. Hands are placed behind the head, legs are extended and relaxed, and the patient lifts the upper body off the ground, holding that position for up to 2 seconds. This exercise should not cause any pain, so the patient can determine his or her own comfortable range of motion.

Motor control coordination and a strong core are the keys to reducing lower back pain. One thing that patients should always keep in mind is that they should consult a physician before starting any type of exercise regimen; some back problems can actually be worsened by exercise. For patients who suffer from lower back pain, segmental stabilizing exercises and low back pain therapy strengthen the spine to reduce pain naturally so that invasive treatments can be avoided.

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