An occasional series of simple but effective things you can do to help yourself
- TRY WALKING BAREFOOT FOR JUST 20 MINUTES PER DAY!!
The weather is getting warmer so why not help improve your low back stability by going for a 20 minute walk on the beach, on rough ground, on grass in the park or your back garden – all sorts of safe but different surfaces will challenge your sensory system and improve low back resilience.
The principle behind this idea is that the lower back and pelvic nerves also provide nerve supply to your foot. There is a feedback mechanism when you walk between the foot and the low back and vice versa so that you can cope with different types of terrain and maintain low back stability.
Have you ever stubbed your toe, or slipped on a floor and felt your low back muscles ‘jarr’ as you try to stay upright. The small muscles of the low back are primarily to aid stability to the joints of the region. When you injure your low back, these small muscles lose their strength and speed of reaction to such jarring actions or just changes in terrain.
Wearing shoes deprives the feet and therefore the low back of some sensory input so the muscles cannot regulate themselves as quickly and effectively as they should. Therefore if you have low back pain and thus the small muscles are less supportive and you wear shoes all the time, those small muscles find it difficult to recover – hence low back pain can keep coming back.
What to do?
It is very simple!
As well as doing any exercises given to you by your chiropractor, try sticking a strip of tape to the bottom of each foot from the middle of your sole along the foot to the bottom of your heel. This has the effect of ‘waking the brain up’ to the nerves in the soles of your feet so they become more reactive and sent more information to the small muscles of the low back.
If you then walk barefoot on different surfaces for 20 minutes every day, you will wake up the small stabilising muscles of the low back too and you will help to speed up your recovery from low back pain and reduce the likelihood of it coming back!
Think of how you are walking, be relaxed but aware of how your feet contact the ground and the feel of your low back as you walk on different surfaces – sand is good because it moves and therefore challenges the low back muscles more.