Dr. Kevin Yip

Dr Kevin Yip
Orthopaedic Surgeon
MBBS(UK), FRCS(EDIN), FAM(SING), FHKCOS(ORTHO)

Featured on Channel NewsAsia

Lower back

Lower back

Rehabilitation programs for the lower back must be based on individual assessments to address the specific needs of the patient. The first requirement is a thorough physical examination, which should include postural assessment, strength and range-of-motion measurements, also pain description and location details.

Based on this evaluation, a rehabilitation program is then designed with additional focus on dynamic stabilization exercises of the lumbar spine, and education of the athlete about body mechanics, lifting, moving, and posture. The deep trunk muscles (transversus abdominis and lumbar multifidus) provided stability for the spine; muscle control leads to pain control.

Lower back strengthening

Lower back strengthening is best done with professional guidance. Proper form is crucial to insure safety and effectiveness. These exercises can be done to the point of muscular fatigue, as long as proper form can be maintained. Proper balance between abdominal and back muscles is recommended.Physical therapy balls are good for strengthening the trunk.

Pelvic tilt (multifidus, rotators, transversus abdominis)

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat. Tighten your abdominal muscles to tilt your hips backwards and flatten your lower back against the floor. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

Partial sit-up (upper rectus abdominis)

Lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat, assume the pelvic tilt position. With your arms out in front of you, tuck your chin in and curl your upper body up until your shoulder blades are clear of the floor.Hold for 10 seconds, breathing normally, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

Diagonal sit-up (rectus abdominis, oblique muscles)

Lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat, assume the pelvic tilt position. Do a partial sit-up with your left hand reaching for the right knee. Hold for 10 seconds, breathing normally, and relax. Repeat in the opposite direction. Perform 10 repetitions in each direction.

Thoracic extension (erector spinae)

Lying face down with arms at your side, lift your upper body off the floor using your back muscles, keeping the chin tucked in. Hold for 5 seconds, breathing normally, then relax. Repeat 10 times. This exercise is not recommended for everybody.

Opposite arm and leg lifts (lumbar stabilization)

Lying face down with your arms reaching forwards, lift your left arm and your right leg. Hold them straight out for 3 seconds and relax. Repeat with the other arm and leg. Progress to the same exercise on all fours (hands and knees). Repeat 10 times.

Lower back stretching

Double knee to chest (lumbar flexion)

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat. Using both hands, bring first one knee to your chest and then the other. Hold for 10 seconds, then lower one leg at a time. Be sure to maintain a pelvic tilt while lowering your legs. Repeat 10 times.

Bent knee roll (lumbar rotation)

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat. Gently roll the knees to one side, hold for 10 seconds, and return to starting position. Roll to the opposite side, hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times each direction.

Piriformis stretch (piriformis and gluteal muscles)

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat. With one hand, reach and grab the opposite knee. Pull your leg up and across chest toward the opposite shoulder. Hold for 20 seconds, then relax. Repeat with the opposite leg.

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