Over the years we, at the Avenue Clinic have been advising you about the best exercises to do to help you reduce the number of times you get back pain and these exercises have been based on the advice of Professor McGill.
We have told you that sit ups can be harmful. I remember a patient a few years ago who had back pain and was about to enter the Army. He was trying to prepare for this by doing 200 sit ups per day because he knew that he would have to do so to be accepted by the Army. However, he had developed back pain! I said I wasn’t surprised … he had a disc problem and every time he did a sit up he was stretching the low back and the already irritated disc so that the spine lost its normal curve. Instead of creating a stronger ‘core’ he was increasing the pressure on his discs and thus increasing the back pain. I showed him the ‘curl up’ that Professor McGill advised and he was able to create a strong core without causing pain.
Ask one of the chiropractors about the ‘Big Three’ exercises – they are very simple but they ensure that back strengthening exercises are done in a neutral position – i.e. you are not bending forwards or backwards and overloading your low back.
Exercises done daily will give you muscle strength and then if you try to maintain that strong, neutral position whenever you are working, you will reduce the number of times you twist your back and therefore the likelihood of causing pain.
Call in to see us so we can show you how to do these exercises properly!