One of the most common complaints that bring people to the physiotherapy clinic is low back pain or pain in the lumbar region. In some people it may be a sudden occurrence as in lifting or bending, or it may be chronic with frequent flare-ups. Stabilising the back muscles can lead to a stronger back and the relief from low back pain.
We will begin by evaluating your posture, physical condition and pain level. We will also assess the strength of the lumbar stabilizing muscles, which include the abdominals, back muscles and hip muscles. If these muscles are weak, the spine can be prone to injury, since it is the spine that bears the greatest strain during bending, lifting, rotating and a host of other activities throughout the day.
What then is lumbar stabilisation? It is an active form of exercise in which the patient is taught to find his/her “neutral spine” position and maintain it subconsciously. The term “neutral spine” refers to good posture in which the spine is kept in proper alignment. This means that the back is not held straight but follows the three natural curves of the cervical spine, at the base of the neck, the thoracic spine (upper region) and the lumbar spine (lower region). When these are properly aligned (neutral) the body is at its strongest and able to perform at its optimum. A non-neutral spine puts undue stress on the spine, leading to low back pain.
Lumbar stabilisation is helpful for:
- Reducing of back pain
- Improving posture
- Healing injury to soft tissue and torn ligaments
- Reducing the risk of back injury due to repetitive motions and poor exercise techniques
- Gaining control of the movements of the spine during daily activity, thus preventing injury.