We know massage therapy helps with lower back pain, but what can you do to prevent pain returning in between visits to see us?
If the muscles surrounding your spine are weak, your spine will not be properly supported. The spine is supposed to naturally have a slight forward curve to it. However, weak core muscles will make this position impossible. A weak core results in changing the way weight is carried through your spine and putting excess tension on surrounding muscles and tendons resulting in, you guessed it, lower back pain.
What exercises should you do?
- Transverse Abdominus Activation
The basis to all core training starts with being able to identify and activate your deep abdominal muscles. These muscles form the front of your whole core structure and work in conjunction with your pelvic floor and diaphragm. To activate, start by lying on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor. Take a deep breath through your diaphragm (expanding your belly and lower ribs). As you exhale, draw in your lower abdominals and your pelvic floor. To feel this muscle activate, place your hands on the inside of your hips bones and as you draw in, you will feel the tension increase. Read more in our blog Understanding the Core and Pelvic Floor.
- Clam Shells
To do the clam shell lie on your side with your knees slightly bent, keeping your legs and ankles together. You can rest your head on an outstretched arm during the exercise. Place your other hand on your hip, and then open and close your knees like a clam by lifting your top knee and keeping your feet together. You should feel this exercise activating through your core as well as your glute muscles.
- Dead Bug
To do the dead bug, begin lying on your back with your hands extended above you toward the ceiling. Bring your feet, knees, and hips up to 90 degrees. Exhale hard to prevent your ribcage from flaring, squeezing your glutes and hold your spine in a neutral position, keeping the natural curve in the spine. Hold this position throughout the movement. This will be your starting position. Extend one leg, straightening the knee and hip to bring the leg just above the ground. Maintain the position of your lumbar and pelvis as you perform the movement, as your back is going to want to arch. Stay tight and return the working leg to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side, alternating. You can also do the same movement with the opposite arm at the same time for a bit of an extra challenge.
- Bird Dog
Same as the dead bug, but you are doing it looking at the ground, on all fours. Maintaining good core control, a neutral pelvis and spine alignment. Without allowing the pelvis to tilt from side to side, slowly lift the opposite arm and leg to a straight position. Take care not to relax your core, allowing your lower back to arch.
Start by getting into a push up position. Bend your elbows and rest your weight onto your forearms and not on your hands. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine. Hold this position for as long as you can.
So if you like the results from your massage and you want that pain to stay away longer, follow our advice and continue your self care at home. If you have any questions following your treatment, speak to your Remedial Massage Therapist from the Evolution Massage Team. If you need to get your back pain under control, Book Onlaine for your next Remedial Massage. We are here to help you get more out of life and empower you to make the best decisions for your body.