Are you experiencing back pain that is increasingly getting worse? Are you frustrated at your lack of progress? If so, this blog is for you!
Let us start off by saying that there are many different forms of back pain. The type of back pain you are experiencing will often dictate what exercises you will respond to. For simplicity, we have divided back pain into 3 categories depending on what type of movements you prefer. The first grouping are the extension responders (part 1), the second group are flexion responders (part 2), and the third group often have trouble with stability of the SIJ (Pelvic joint; part 3).
In this blog, we will briefly discuss the flexion responders and provide some insight into exercises that may be helpful!
#2 – Flexion Responders
Are you experiencing symptoms that:
• Worsens with standing and walking
• Improves with sitting and bending
• Radiating into one leg or both legs at the same time (tingling, numbness, weakness)
There are many reasons why you may be feeling pain when standing or walking. The explanation may be as simple as a strained muscle in the low back, but may be as complex as degeneration in the spine, causing a narrowing with the spinal canal. This narrowing in the spinal canal can cause a condition known as spinal stenosis. If you are having symptoms of spinal stenosis, you may be feeling associated leg pain affecting one or both legs. The leg symptoms tend to increase while being in an upright position or with lying flat on the back. This pain tends to minimize if you bend your body forward which opens up the narrowed space in the spinal canal. Pain is generally relieved with resting positions like sitting, laying in the fetal position or bending forward. There may be associated diagnostic imaging findings of disc degeneration in the lumbar spine. However, obtaining imaging is not mandatory to try movement specific exercises or to seek out the advice of a registered physiotherapist or chiropractor. If this description sounds like you, you may benefit from a flexion exercise protocol. Here are our top exercises for the flexion responder.
Double knee to chest stretch
• Start by lying on your back
• Draw both knees up towards the chest
• Hug the knees in towards the chest
• Hold the stretch position for 30 seconds
• Repeat 3 times
Seated forward bend
• Start in a seated position
• Bend forward, reaching your hands behind your legs
• Hold this position for 30 seconds
• Repeat 3 times
• Use a recumbent bike or a spin cycle
• Start with 10 minutes at a time and slowly increase
• Adjusting the seat position if any symptoms increase