David R. Beatty and Camilia Makyhoun

David R. Beatty, DO, Professor of Osteopathic Principles and Practice, WVSOM

Camilia Makyhoun, Assistant Editor, WVSOM Class of 2016

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

GOOD BACKS GONE BAD

Muscle imbalances are another cause for persistent back pain. A sore or tight muscle sends a signal to opposing muscles to relax even when they are supposed to contract for movement, resulting in overuse strain of related muscle groups. This pattern of reciprocal inhibition can be reversed by stretching the tight muscles immediately before retraining the inhibited ones.




DOCTOR'S NOTE: Seek evaluation by a health professional if your back pain is associated with fatigue, weight loss, fever, arm or leg weakness, or incontinence, which are symptoms of more serious causes of persistent back pain.




LOWER BACK RETRAINING

Stretching left flexors and right extensors
(WVSOM)

1. Stretch the tight hip flexor and opposite hip extensor:
  1. Lie on your back with one leg hanging off the end of the bed or table;
  2. Pull the other knee toward the chest as far as it will comfortably go;
  3. Let the foot of the leg hang down as far as it can comfortably go;
  4. Take a few deep breaths and stretch for 10-20 seconds;
  5. Repeat for the other side.

2. Contract the inhibited hip extensors:

    Contracting right hip extensors (WVSOM)
  1. Lie on your stomach with the legs straight and toes pointing downward;
  2. Slowly lift one leg 3-6 inches, hold it there 5-10 seconds, and slowly return it to the floor;
  3. Repeat this leg lift and drop 5-10 times;
  4. Repeat for the other leg.

3. Repeat this sequence of stretch and contraction daily and before other exercises.





 
 
UPPER BACK RETRAINING
Upper trapezius stretch
(WVSOM)

1. Stretch the tight upper shoulder muscles:

  1. Hold onto the chair with one hand and hold the top of the head with the other hand;
  2. Allow the head to slowly fall to the side as far as it will comfortably go, letting the weight of the arm move the head;
  3. Take a few deep breaths and stretch for 10-20 seconds;
  4. Repeat to the other side.








Right pectoralis stretch
(WVSOM)

 
2. Stretch the opposite chest muscles:
  1. Stand with your shoulder and hip against a wall;
  2. Place the arm that is against the wall straight behind you, with the hand facing the wall;
  3. Push your other hand into the wall in front of you to turn the chest away from the wall;
  4. Take a few deep breaths and stretch for 10-20 seconds;
  5. Repeat for the other side.







Right trapezius contraction (WVSOM)
3. Contract the inhibited lower shoulder muscles:
  1. Lie on your stomach with the arm straight out to the side;
  2. Turn the hand to point the thumb upward;
  3. With the arm straight, slowly lift the hand 3-6 inches, hold it there 5-10 seconds, and slowly return it to the floor;
  4. Repeat this arm lift and drop 5-10 times;
  5. Repeat for the other arm.




4. Repeat this sequence of stretch and contraction daily and before other exercises.


2 comments:

  1. It is a complete package of all the stress relievers of the body but I would like to guide that only a professional like in Physiotherapy North Ryde clinic can help in a far better way because physiotherapist knows better the exercises and postures you need to get relief form the pain.

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