Thrown Out Your Back. Now What?
At some point during our lives, we will all likely face a bout of back pain that may feel debilitating. Whether we tried to lift something up heavy off the ground or tweaked it working out, it can be a scary feeling but you are not alone.
There is plenty that you can still do from the comfort of your own home. This is especially important given the current situation where we are sheltering in place and trying to avoid the doctor’s office or the emergency room.
The first thing you want to do is take a deep breath and realize that, with time, this pain will improve and most likely go away completely.
Some simple exercises that can be replicated at home without any equipment:
- 90/90 Breathing: Lay with your back supported on the ground and feet elevated. Take some deep breaths, inhaling through your nose, and exhaling out your mouth. Repeat for 2-3 minutes or to tolerance with the position.
- Supine Knee(s) to Chest: Lay with your back flat on the ground, couch or bed and bend your knees so that your feet are flat. Slowly bring your knees to your chest. If this is too painful, start with one leg at a time or a shortened range of motion. Repeat 15-20x
- Supine Lumbar Rotation: Lay with your back flat on the ground, couch or bed and bend your knees so your feet are flat. Slowly rotate both knees to one side as tolerated and then to the other side. Repeat 15-20x
- Quadruped to Child’s Pose: Start on your hands and knees with your core engaged and back as flat as possible. Drive your butt to your heels keeping your arms straight. Repeat 15-20x
- Prone press up progression: Lay on your stomach with your elbows tucked in and hands near shoulder height. Prop onto your forearms keeping your hips flat. Hold this position for 10-15 sec and if this is not problematic, move into a larger range of motion.
These exercises may still be uncomfortable in the interim but as long as the pain is not getting worse, traveling to a new area, or not going away immediately upon stopping, you are good to proceed.
Our goal as physical therapists is to educate our patients to develop self-management techniques. Let us help you put your initial fears & pain at rest while helping you balance your body making you stronger than you were prior to your injury.
-Franco Calabrese, PT, DPT
This list is not exhaustive and this content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.