Have you had an injury to your spine or had spinal disease? Specifically, have you been affected in the lumbar spine region – which is situated in the lower back? If that’s the case, then things like even just managing to stand upright for a short period of time can be extremely difficult. You will feel the pain and weakness anywhere from the hips to the groin to your lower abdominal muscles.
While sometimes these problems, especially if it’s due to an injury, can be very short-lived, it’s still a good idea to see a doctor and then a physical therapist. They can show you how to strengthen the areas around and help you manage any pain that you feel so that you can regain your full mobility and will be able to resume your lifestyle (mostly) that you were enjoying before.
Here are some ways that lumbar spine rehabilitation can help you.
Methods of Rehabilitation
There are basically two different types of physical therapy.
- Passive Physical Therapy – The physical therapist will be the one doing the treatment to the patient – things like electrical stimulation, heat application, and ice packs. They may use a heating pad to warm up your muscles before any exercise or stretching. Then they may put on an ice pack to cool the muscles down afterward. This can be very beneficial for preventing soreness the next day.
- Active Physical Therapy – How this is done depends on your strength at the time of the first appointment. You may very limited in your scope of movement. The physical therapist may have to assist you with the exercises. This is called active-assisted therapy. As you gain strength in your problem area and start doing the exercises on your own, then this shifts to just regular active physical therapy.
When it comes to correcting the lower-back problem, there are several things that can be done:
- Stretching – This is done so that the muscles can move in a proper range of motion. If you haven’t used particular muscles, they can atrophy. The stretching is important. Another thing is that spasms can happen from bad posture. Again, stretching is key. The physical therapist will likely target your lower back muscles, your abdominal muscles, hips, and legs. This should be done slowly without bouncing.
- Dynamic Stabilization Exercises – Balance plays a big part in your lower back and the exercises help you regain that balance. You may be using exercise balls, balancing machines to do these. Your spine will get much-needed support from the surrounding muscles.
- Core Strengthening Exercises – Your abdominal muscles are crucial to your lower back. So are your lower back muscles. Think of them forming a “belt of muscle” that protect your spine. Strengthen with things like crunches, sit-ups, leg raises, hyperextensions, and “good morning”, where you have a broom across your shoulders and bend down like you’re touching your toes.
Solutions to Problems
There may be some times when patients say that the program is not working for them. There are some reasons for this: