Titleist Performance Chiropractor

Resolve Low Back Issues Part 6: Self-Care - What You Can Do For Low Back Pain

Over the last 5 weeks, we have discussed everything from what low back pain is, most common causes, some of the most common myths associated with low back pain, and when to consider imaging studies (x-ray, MRI, CT) due to red flags that lead us to something more severe being the cause. We even covered a few tips to help when you find yourself traveling for work or vacation.

We have been building up toward the actual care of low back pain, but wanted to fully educate on how common low back pain is, what we know about low back pain at this time, and help you focus on life outside of back pain.

Today, we are going to do just that.

When we look to decrease disability from low back pain, and encourage and support patients back to an active lifestyle, this is done in two ways. EDUCATION & EXERCISE. We have already discussed the education component. Now it is time for exercise. Below are 5 ways to help manage and prevent your low back pain with exercise and stretching routines that can be done at home, the gym, or even at the office.

Side Bar -> If anyone gives you a hard time, or tosses a laugh in your way for stretching at the office, I will leave it up to you to either invite them to join (because they need to do this too), or, wait until they start having an issue with low back pain and then pass them our card! Seriously though, invite your co-works to join in, make it an office party, it will be fun.

Fix Your Low Back With These 5 Easy Exercises & Stretches You Can Do At Home or Work.

STEP 1: Get Out Of Bed With Our Morning Routine.

After a good nights sleep, it is common for our muscles to want to remain in bed. Because of this, early morning activities can challenge our bodies more than they are ready to handle, resulting in a nice low back strain injury. If you are already dealing with low back pain, you know that morning stiffness can prevent you from even rolling over, not to mention actually get up out of said bed.

 
 

STEP 2: Desk Sitters - Get Up & Move

While things are improving, the seats we subject ourselves too in our cars, on the train, and at the office are just comfortable enough to keep you seated for an extensive period of time, but provide little support to keep you from tightening up in the process. Start this NOW -> Set an alarm on your phone that goes off every 1-2 hours. Walk around the office, hand deliver a message, and then take 30 seconds and perform these stretches.


STEP 3: Pre-Workout Hip Mobility

We are going to assume you have a daily routine of some exercise? If you do not, reset, and start adding some exercise to your life, no other method is as impactful on helping your low back issues. Once you get to the gym, or home if you prefer, go through a GOOD HIP MOBILITY routine. We know that the more we improve the mobility of our hips, the less our low back has to work…overwork.

 
 


STEP 4: Post-Workout Core Strength

The same goes for core strength as hip mobility. The stronger our core, the less our low backs have to work. Now…I don’t mean getting down on the floor and performing a half-hearted set or some sorry excuse for crunch/sit-up type exercise. We are talking functional here. Planks, Side Planks, Plank Rolls, Heavy Farmer and Suitcase Walks, as well as The Big 3.



STEP 5: Strength For Life

Most people who have dealt with low back pain have since, and forever will, shy away from true strength movements. But let me just plug that as humans, you should be able to squat as well as pick something heavy off the ground without fear of hurting yourself. As you work on hip mobility and core strength, you have to start working in squats and dead-lifts. Start with these modifications and work on control and endurance.

Exercise is considered the best medicine for low back pain. While this is true and I strongly support this. Our actual goal with care is to get our patients back to these activities. But often, patients present in enough pain that they are unable to run, ski, bike, weight lift, etc. With that said, most can start with basic stretching and mobility until the pain is relieved. From there, exercise can prevent flair-ups, or at least decrease their intensity and length of the episode. Either way, low back pain has to have a component which includes YOU doing some, if not most, of the work.

Next week we will look at some of the traditional, as well as, new developments in conservative care low back pain. Until then, and if you are craving more reading, check out our ‘12 Ways..’ Tips guide to further help your low back pain.


Dr. Reheisse is a Board Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician practicing in Cottonwood Heights Utah. Revive Sport & Spine provides evidence-supported chiropractic care and conservative sports injury management.

5 Warm-Up Exercises To Eliminate Low Back Pain From Your Golf Game

Low Back Pain…the CAUSE or the SOURCE?

Golfer’s low back pain can be extremely frustrating. In fact, it is the number one ailment seen amongst golfers, even at the professional level. With that said, not many realize that low back pain isn’t the cause, it is just a symptom of a deeper issue. Often, lack of mobility in other areas like our hips and middle back lead to the excessive load placed on the low back. While our low back structure and muscles are strong, they are not built for that load, and in turn, pain ensues.

 

How do I Prevent Low Back Pain?

To put it simply, hips are built for mobility and your low back is built for stability. When those roles reverse we experience low back pain. So, our goal becomes more focused on achieving normal movement in those areas. We need our hips to normalize their movement, which will allow our low backs to be the stabilizer that it was built to be.

 

How does this apply to Golfers?

The golf swing requires a substantial amount of rotation and mobility to get the power and energy we hope for. When our hips are not moving, our low backs become the point of rotation (and stability) for our swing, and this leads to pain in that area. This is where a proper hip warm-up prior to a round of golf can really help.

 

Warm-Up Exercises

Warming up with hip exercises before a round of golf can really help the hips warm up and perform the way they were designed. There are several hip exercises you can do, but here is a focused look at 3 powerhouse moves that are easy to perform. 

Bird Dog  — the main focus is to have mobility through the hips while keeping a neutral and stable spine. In addition, you are engaging the core, which helps with maintaining that neutral spine and provides power during your drive and iron shots. 

 

 

Posterior Hip Foam Roll — This is something that can be implemented into a daily routine, as well as prior to a round of golf.  The focus here will be on the glutes and your external rotators of the hip. Foam rolling is simple and when done correctly can be a huge benefit. We encourage it 3-5 times a day, including prior to your round of golf, with about 10-20 rolls up and down for each session.

 

Band Exercise — This is something we utilize for many of our patients who come through as a good exercise prior an activity such as running, cycling, triathlon, weight lifting, tennis, soccer, etc. However, it can be just as helpful before a round of golf. One set of ten (1 x 10) of each exercise is plenty to get the hips fired up. In addition, this helps build strength, which will help with fatigue towards the end of a long round, or a long weekend of golf.

GLUTE BRIDGE

CLAMSHELL

 

LATERAL BAND WALKS

 

We all have experienced low back pain and discomfort, we all know the effect it has on our golf game and our enjoyment of the game, now we understand the cause a little better.  By implementing these simple exercises prior to a round of golf, as well as when needed in our daily life, it can help us both manage and prevent our low back pain.  Lastly, making this a part of your routine can help you sustain a higher level of play out on the golf course.


Janaye Freeman is a Certified Athletic Trainer & Lead Therapy Technician at Revive Sport & Spine in Cottonwood Heights Utah. Revive Sport & Spine provides evidence-supported chiropractic care and conservative sports injury management for the Greater Salt Lake City Utah Valley.