Continuing your back rehabilitation from home

Low back pain is a frequent issue for a large percentage of the population with varying degrees of impairment and discomfort.  A key part of improving low back pain and reducing the risk of recurring episodes is exercise rehabilitation.  The basis of exercise rehabilitation is improving the physical imbalances that are contributing to low back pain to facilitate a return to pre-injury function.  There is also evidence highlighting the benefits of exercise for the biopsychosocial factors that may also be present.  Additionally, regular exercise can boost your immune system and is beneficial for mental health, which is of great importance during the current climate.

In these challenging times, we are encouraged to be innovative and adaptive with our regular way of living.  This applies to rehabilitation and exercise.  Below are just a few of the countless exercises that can be performed at home to help continue the progress in rehabilitation for back injuries.

4-point lift

  • Start in a 4-point position with wrists in line with shoulders and knees in line with hips
  • Lift knees off the ground and hold for a period of time. Slowly lower and repeat
  • Target: Start with a 5 second hold and perform 10 times. Increase the duration of each hold as you improve
  • Variation: Perform on forearms if you have hand/wrist issues

 

Leg lifts

  • Ensure neck is neutral (some individuals may require a small towel under their head)
  • Take a few deep diaphragmatic breaths to adjust to the position
  • Slowly lift one leg so the hip and knee are both at 90-degree angles (refer to 2nd image). Pause then slowly lower.  Repeat on opposite leg
  • Target: Perform 3 sets of 20 leg lifts in a slow, controlled manner
  • Variation: Perform laying on the ground as foam roller is optional

 

Seated row

  • Wrap a resistance band around a pole or door handle
  • Sit in an upright position and pull the hand towards your body until elbows are in line with shoulders. Pause, then slowly straighten arms to return to start position and repeat
  • Target: 3 sets of 15-20 rows
  • Variation: Fitball is optional. Perform on a chair, standing or kneeling

 

There are many ways to adapt your exercise programme to focus on home-based or outdoor exercises to continue improvements in your back and functional capacity.  We’re currently using our private clinic and outdoor sessions for one-on-one consults (with the appropriate physical distancing) to work on technique and implement progressions.  We are also utilising Telehealth for consultations via video conference.  If you would like more information on back injuries or other rehabilitation programmes that Absolute Balance can provide, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@absolutebalance.com.au

 

Daniel D’Avoine

BSc(ExerSc&Rehab) AEP ESSAM

Exercise Rehabilitation Team Leader – Workers Compensation Specialist

 

Hellman, T., Jensen, I., Bergstrom, G., & Busch, H. (2015). Returning to work – a long-term process reaching beyond the time frames of multimodal non-specific back pain rehabilitation. Disability and rehabilitation, 37(6), 499-505. DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2014.923531

Palazzo, C., Klinger, E., Dorner, V., Kadri, A., Thierry, O., Boumenir, Y., … Ville, I. (2016). Barriers to home-based exercise program adherence with chronic low back pain: Patient expectations regarding new technologies. Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 59(2), 107-113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rehab.2016.01.009

Tousignant-Laflamme, Y., Martel, M. O., Joshi, A. B., & Cook, C. E. (2017). Rehabilitation management of low back pain – it’s time to pull it all together.  Journal of pain research10, 2373–2385. https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S146485