One of the keys to managing back pain or neck pain is to actively engage in rehabilitation and exercise. Physical therapy helps place patients on the right track by exercising weak points and regaining strength that may have been lost. An exercise program should be tailored to the individual’s condition and pain level, and include a combination of stretching, strengthening and aerobic conditioning. Knowing the right exercises and how to find the right trainers can be the difference between recovery and chronic pain.
These back exercises using exercise balls are designed to strengthen the muscles that support the spine from the low back to the upper back, in front and in back. Specific muscles targeted by these exercises include the abdominal, chest and back muscles.
In addition to stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercises, there are several lifestyle guidelines that can help in the healing and rehabilitation process.
Most physical therapy programs that are designed to treat low back pain and some radicular pain (pain radiating down the leg) will include a combination of the following types of exercise:
Stretching. Proper stretching of the muscles along with active exercise will help maintain normal range of motion and provide relief for muscles that are often suffering disuse atrophy (shrinking muscles from lack of use) or in spasm from inappropriate posture or nerve irritation. For many patients it is best to follow a stretching routine that has been individually designed for them by a physical therapist or a spine physician. As a general rule, low back pain patients should focus on stretching the lower back muscles, abdominal muscles, hips, and legs. The patient should never bounce during stretching, and all stretches should be slow and gradual.